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Audiobook Publishers Turn Up Sales
Volume To $1.8 Billion In 2022, Reports APA
June 15, 2023

(VOXtra) - For the 11th consecutive year, audiobook publishers' revenue grew by double digits over the previous year, earning $1.8 billion in 2022, reports the Audio Publishers Association (APA).

The APA adds that more than half of the U.S. population aged 18 and older has by now listened to an audiobook.

These are among highlights of recent Sales and Consumer surveys, which are conducted annually for the APA.

The 2023 Consumer Survey conducted by Edison Research found that the size of the audiobook listening market grew in past year, with the majority of U.S. adults (53%) now saying they have listened to an audiobook - up from 45% in 2022. This translates to nearly 140 million Americans who have tried the medium, notes the APA.

Other key statistics from the two surveys:
  • The majority of audiobook listeners are young, with 57% being between the ages of 18 and 44, significantly higher than the 49% of the U.S. population that falls within the same age range.
  • Audiobook listeners today closely match the U.S. population, with 29% of audiobook listeners identifying as either African-American or Hispanic, compared to 27% of the U.S. population, suggesting increased diversity among listeners.
  • As audiobook listeners' lives return to their pre-pandemic routines, so have their audiobook consumption. For those who listened in the past year, the average number of audiobooks listened to has returned to the pre-pandemic number of 6.3 - down from 6.9 in 2022.

One area that has not receded to pre-pandemic levels, however, is the number of parents who have children listening to audiobooks. 56% percent of audiobook listeners with children say their kids listen to audiobooks.

This number, while down from the 61% measured in 2022, is still significantly higher than the 35% reported in the pre-pandemic study of 2020.

By category, audiobooks for children had the fastest rate of growth in 2022 (+41%), but remain a small component of the total market (3%).

Also from the survey:
  • Non-English language titles are expanding rapidly (+37%), but are still just 4% of the total market.
  • Fiction (64%) has increased as a proportion of total sales for the second consecutive year.
  • The fastest growing genres are Humor, Non-Fiction, and Romance; however, Fiction and Science Fiction/Fantasy remain the two largest genres overall.

The Consumer Survey studied Americans ages 18 and older who have ever listened to a complete audiobook. Edison Research completed 1,000 online interviews in February 2023. 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, Amazon Music, Wondery, and ART19.

The Sales Survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the APA to gather industry sales data and publisher sales by various formats and genres. Surveyed were APA members who publish audiobooks, and 28 publishers provided data, including Audible Inc., Blackstone, Brilliance Audio, Hachette Audio, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Podium Publishing, Recorded Books, and Simon & Schuster.

Access to this and other data prepared for the industry are available to members of the association.


Formed in 1986, the Audio Publishers Association 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.

Audiobook narrators, directors and others involved in the industry also belong to the association, which sponsors the annual Audie Awards® competition and the annual APAC convention.

For more about the APA, membership and programs, visit:

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