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AUDIOBOOKS
Audiobook Sales Soar To $2 Billion In 2023 As
Audience Expands With New & Existing Listeners
June 3, 2024

(VOXtra) - Audiobook fans who are buying more titles and a growing overall audience pushed audiobook sales in 2023 to $2 billion - a 9% jump from 2022 - reports the Audiobook Publishers Association (APA).

"Audiobooks are becoming more mainstream," the APA says in a press release that highlights results from two annual surveys:

  • The APA Sales Survey, conducted by Toluna Harris Interactive, and
  • The APA 2024 Consumer Survey, conducted by Edison Research.

The Consumer Survey finds that a majority of U.S. adults (52%) - an estimated nearly 149 million Americans - have listened to an audiobook. Among those, 38% listened to an audiobook in 2023, compared to 35% in the previous year.

"This rise signals an increase in overall consumption, as well," the APA notes.

"Of the most avid audiobook listeners - those who have listened to an audiobook in the last year - the average audiobooks consumed was 6.8 titles in the year, up from 6.3.

"Of the broader group of those who had ever listened to an audiobook, the average was 4.8 audiobooks listened to in the last year, up from 4.0," the APA says.

The APA also shares these highlights from the surveys:

THE POPULAR GENRES

● Fiction, at 64% of sales revenue, is the top category for the third consecutive year. Top genres are General Fiction (21%), Science Fiction/Fantasy (14%), and Romance (11%).
● The fastest growing genres are History/Biography/Memoir (22% growth), Health & Fitness (20% growth), Religious/Faith-based (17% growth), and Romance (14% growth).
● Children’s audiobook listening remains strong, with 53% percent of audiobook listeners with children saying their kids also listen to audiobooks. According to 77% of these parents, a key benefit of audiobooks is giving their children a break from screens.

HOW THEY LISTEN & PIRACY A CONCERN

● Subscriptions to audiobook services continue to grow, with 63% of those who listened in the last year currently subscribing to at least one service. This percentage is up from the 62% reported for the previous year.
● Current audiobook consumers also rely on digital library apps, with 46% of them saying they’ve borrowed a digital audiobook from a library in the last year.
● Piracy is also a concern for the industry. 47% of those who listened to an audiobook in the last year say they got an audiobook for free through YouTube or another file sharing website.

ABOUT THE APA CONSUMER SURVEY

The APA Consumer Study is a national survey of Americans ages 18 and older who have ever listened to a complete audiobook. Edison Research completed 1,061 online interviews in February 2024. The data was weighted to the audiobook market, as measured by The Infinite Dial, a nationally representative survey of the American media landscape conducted by Edison Research.

ABOUT THE APA SALES SURVEY

The APA Sales Survey was conducted by Toluna Harris Interactive on behalf of the APA to gather industry sales data, publisher sales by various formats and genres. This is a national survey of APA members who publish audiobooks. 27 publishers provided data, including Audible Inc., Blackstone, Brilliance Audio, Hachette Audio, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Podium Publishing, RB Media, and Simon & Schuster. Access to this and other data prepared for the industry are available to members of the association.

ABOUT THE APA

Formed in 1986, the Audio Publishers Association (APA) is a not-for-profit trade association that advocates the common, collective business interests of audio publishers. The APA serves as a networking, educational, and information forum for its members; delivers programs, services, and awards that serve the common business interests for its members; and promotes policies and activities
that accelerate audiobook awareness and industry growth.

For more about the APA and its programs (including the annual Audie Awards program and APAC conference, visit: www.audiopub.org.

ALSO SEE THESE AUDIOBOOK NEWS ARTICLES

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