Audiobook sales in the UK have been found to have slowed down a bit in the first half of 2022, BooksAndPublishing reported citing a Nielsen BookData report. According to the report titled Understanding the UK Audiobook Consumer that Nielsen conducted with inputs from 2000 adults, it concluded that audiobook sales in the UK would stabilize to around 27 million units in 2022, something that is valued at about £182m.
This would make for only a slight improvement over the 26 million audiobooks that were sold in 2021. In comparison, it has been 23 million and 18 million audiobooks sold in 2020 and 2019 respectively, or a more modest 8 million in 2014, which was also when Neilsen had begun tracking audiobook sales.
The survey also revealed the slowing down of audiobook sales can be attributed to the increase in the cost of living. As such, about one-third of audiobook buyers will tend to procure only free audiobooks while a quarter of the buyers will tend to buy fewer audiobooks than they would have otherwise done. About 19 percent or a fifth of the respondents said they might even cancel an audiobook subscription to save costs while only about 11 percent said they are open to taking a new subscription with the hope of getting better deals.
Jaclyn Swope who authored the report however believes the drop in audiobook sales can’t be attributed directly to an increase in the cost of living. “While wariness about the cost of living is impacting buyers according to the survey, I wouldn’t attribute the drop in purchases entirely to that, as the pandemic accelerated the growth—particularly in 2020 compared to 2019 (more than 20%), with further double-digit percent growth in 2021,” Swope revealed to the Bookseller.
“I think it would have slowed this year regardless, given the year didn’t have a lockdown, which was a big factor for increased consumption,” Swope said.
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