Audiobook Sales Grow 4.7% In 2009;
Fiction & Unabridged Categories Lead
June 28, 2010
Audiobooks - and particularly, fiction and unabridged audio geared toward adults - experienced sales growth in 2009, pushing the market to annual sales of about $900 million, says the Audio Publishers Association (APA).
In reporting the results of its recent Survey of 2009 Sales, the APA says, "It was another strong year for audiobooks, with a 4.7% increase in unit sales."
Revenue reported by 29 member companies for 2009 is $291 million, the survey finds.
From that figture, the APA estimates that the total size of the audiobook industry, based on the dollars spent by consumers and libraries, is approximately $900 million.
BUT REVENUE FELL
But the sales increase didn't bring the publishers a bigger payday.
"Audiobook publishers met the recession by selectively reducing prices on audiobooks in 2009, which contributed to the 12% decline in revenues," says the APA.
"But consumers rewarded this by purchasing more and sales increased to nearly 20 million units in 2009.
THE 'GOOD NEWS' ...
"The good news is more people are experiencing audio as a result of having value-priced options available, both in the traditional CD format and the growing digital download market,” says Janet Benson (The Audio Partners Inc.), APA President.
"It is wonderful to see that the popularity of audiobooks is still holding strong."
Beth Anderson (Audible Inc.), chair of the APA Research Committee, adds:
"Many businesses and industries saw sales drop in 2009," she adds. "The fact that we saw an increase in the number of audiobooks sold indicates that consumers appreciate the value audiobooks.
"An unabridged audiobook offers 10 to 20 hours of entertainment or information - reat value for the price.”
The annual survey of member firms was conducted for the APA by Lewis&Clark, an independent research firm.
The results analyze sales data from 2009, and compare current statistics against the previous years’ findings.
Highlights, as noted by the APA:
MOST POPULAR FORMATS
Digital downloads show signs of catching up to the long-preferred CD format.
By number of units sold:
OTHER FINDINGS ....
The following companies participated in this survey:
ABOUT THE APA
The Audio Publishers Association (APA) is a not-for-profit trade organization whose primary goals are to promote awareness of the audiobook industry, gather and disseminate industry statistics, encourage high production standards, and represent the interests of audiobook publishers.
Since 1986, the APA has worked to bring audio publishers together to increase interest in audiobooks.
Please visit www.audiopub.org for more information.
Lewis&Clark is a full-service market research and competitive intelligence firm founded in 1983. The firm serves publishers, associations, and businesses through a combination of mail and online/interactive surveys, knowledge management, consulting, and outsourcing services, provided in a timely and cost-effective manner.
For more information, please visit www.lewisclarkinc.com.
Your Daily Resource For Voice-Over Success