The publishing industry has been on the downward trend in the last few years due to the decline in e-book sales. According to Publisher’s Weekly, a report by the Association of American Publishers’ shows that overall publishing industry sales fell by 2.6% last year when compared to figures from 2014. The only industry segments to show improvement, in fact, were adult books and books from religious presses, which increased sales by 2.2% and 1.2% respectively.
The big narrative to come out of the report is that digital audiobooks are taking the US by storm. Digital audiobook sales, which rose by nearly 40%, helped carry the adult books segment out of the red. Overall digital audio accounted for $205.6 million, but physical audio declined by 5.7%.
Since the publishing industry is generating so much revenue from digital audio sales many companies that specialize in statistics are beginning to pay attention. For the first time audiobook and audiobook subscription services are being tracked by Nielsen StatShot. 20 publishers proclaimed that the subscription model for audiobooks are actually proving to be more lucrative than e-Books. Approximately 3.88 million audiobooks were downloaded in 2015 compared to the 2.47 million eBooks that were read.
If you want to learn about the entire digital audio industry, some of the startups that are disrupting the space and the international scene, take a gander at our very extensive Digital Audiobook Report.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.