The Growth of Audiobooks


According to QZ, audiobooks are growing more than ebooks. MarketWatch wrote that some audiobooks are selling more copies than their print counterparts, and according to The Digital Reader, ‘audio can outsell print when audio is treated as its original format and not produced as an after thought.’

Audio may be growing because of accessibility, according to The Bookseller and DBW. In just one year, between 2014 and 2015, audiobook sales grew 20% to about $1.78 billion, according to Publisher’s Weekly.

According to the WSJ and DBW, audiobooks are the fastest growing format in publishing. Edison Research found that 43% of Americans over the age of 12 have listened to an audiobook, and that audiobook consumers listened to an average of 6.7 audiobooks in the past year. More people are recommending audiobooks, even the NY Times. Audiobooks are also popular among children, who are used to using mobile devices, according to this slideshare. Audiobooks are also gaining popularity globally, in countries such as India, according to DBW. Free audiobooks are also available online, through sites such as Librovox, according to Wired.

Some audiobooks do really well. The Harry Potter audiobooks, for example, sold 345 copies per hour at one point when they were first released on Audible, according to MarketWatch.

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