Audiobooks are the fastest growing segment in digital publishing and it is a billion dollar industry. Every year more ebooks are receiving the audio treatment and many of the worlds largest publishers have double downed on production. This has resulted in many new retailers such as Google and Kobo entering the fray. What are the most popular audiobook retailers in 2018? Good e-Reader has conducted extensive research to answer this very question.
Over the course of the past month Good e-Reader Research has conducted a poll, where 556 people all over the world voted on the their favorite audiobook retailer. Audible captured the largest segment of verified audiobook purchased with 27.16% of respondents saying they did business with them. Audible charges a monthly subscription fee and you can use their “credits” to download any audiobook in their library. You can also purchase them on an individual basis, but the prices are pretty high. Audible also populates the majority of the iBooks catalog, but iBooks only received a paltry 2.88% of the total vote.
Amazon came in second place with 16.73% of the vote. This is primarily due to sheer amount of people who download them for free as part of Prime Reading, which is free with a Prime subscription. Kindle Unlimited also provides access to a copious amount of audiobooks.
Playster is one of the few companies involved in the unlimited subscription model and recently the company raised their prices. Despite users having to pay almost double, Playster was in third place with 14.57% of the total vote. Kobo followed closely behind with 10.97% with their new audiobook store and subscription based system.
What I found surprising is that Scribd, who just unveiled their second generation Unlimited Platform did so poorly. They have the most polished looking app out of all of the audiobook retailers and you can tell they put a lot of time and effort into its development. Only 3.24% of the total vote said they did business with Scribd. Google Audiobooks has received a ton of media attention since they launched a few months ago and apparently their service is not resonating with users, only 4.32% of all audiobook users said they bought at least a single title from them. This is actually shocking because Android is one of the most popular operating systems in the world and Play Books has hundreds of millions of installs.
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.