Audiobooks are the fastest growing segment of digital publishing and the United States is the market that drives the vast majority of sales. In 2017 $2.5 billion was spent on audiobooks and every year 46,000 titles are produced and there is around 375,000 in circulation. 54% of American audiobook users being under the age of 45, and 74% of listeners preferring their smartphones as a leading device. Meanwhile Europe generated $500 million in revenue and in Chinese users spent $470 million on the format.
Here are a few audiobook trends for 2019.
- The robust UK audiobook market has benefitted from an “extensive range of English-language content”
- “In Europe, the market has a range of maturity based on location, with plenty of room for growth”
- China is seeing “a shift toward paid content”
- The rise in audio interfaces and smart-speaker penetration (Amazon’s Alexa, etc.) “can only increase the desire for audio products)
- “Web platforms are the key distribution channels. In addition to aggregating the publishers’ content, they are also taking on the traditional functions of physical bookstores, such as offering advice and customer service.”
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.