A new study from France’s publishers shows that French audiobook fans are moving away from tape and CDs to embrace digital audio, according to a May 4th Publishing Perspectives article.
May is “Audio Book Month” in France, according to the Syndicat national de l’édition (SNE). The French Publishers Association (SNE) is France’s trade association of book publishers, representing approximately 720 member companies. These combined businesses account for a large amount of publishing that occurs in France. On May 4th the SNE released a 107 page report. The study was focused on the reading habits of French citizens in 2021 and was conducted by Médiamétrie.
Those surveys whose reading habits are on more infrequent reported using fewer digital products, while those who say they are moderate to heavier readers are head of the pack when it comes to utilizing digital products (ebooks and audiobooks).
Some interesting highlights from the report:
- 15% of those surveyed have listened to a “physical audiobook,” meaning on CD or tape, of course
- Only 52% of physical audiobook listeners say they’ve listened to one fewer title than they did a year ago, and the researchers say they believe that shows those respondents are most likely changing from CD’s and tapes to streaming and downloading audiobooks
- 12% report that they have listened to a digital (downloaded or streamed) audiobook for the first time in 2021
- 30% of ebook readers say they read more books last year than they did before
- 20% of physical audiobook listeners say they’re listening more than they did in the past
- 27% of digital audiobook users say they’re listening to larger variety of titles than before
- Reading among the study’s respondents is referred to as “a pleasure activity”, with more than 80% of those asked said they do most of their reading at home
- Brick-and-mortar bookstores, print and physical audiobook formats, and “specialized supermarkets” are preferred for French readers’ shopping over shopping on line
- The smartphone is the top device for listening to downloadable and streaming audiobooks, and has surpassed “other reading tools for digital books” the report’s authors say, making it “the predominant device for listening to downloadable audiobooks
- 95% of people surveyed prefer to buy new print books over used ones
- Barrowing from a library is still popular, with 48 percent of respondents saying they’ve borrowed a book (physical and digital) from the library in 2021.
An intriguing and surprising trend showed that for both physical and digital books, there is an increase in male readers. This trend is also being seen in other markets, including the England and other areas in Europe. It suggests that access to literature through audio may be a better suited format for boys and men. Publishers are taking not of this, as the physical book market is vastly dominated by female consumers.
An avid book reader, Angela Waterfield is new to the world of e-Readers. She has a background in education, emergency response, fitness, and loves to be outside. She has contributed writing to The London Free Press, The Gazette, The Londoner, Lifeliner, and Citymedia.ca.