In the United States, audiobook and ebook revenue continues to soar. Digital book revenues were up 39.2% in May and generated $113.0 million. On a year-to-date basis, eBooks were up 7.3%, coming in at $435.4 million for the first five months of 2020.
Digital audiobook revenues saw a 22.0% increase as compared to May of last year, reaching $54.2 million in revenue. On a year-to-date basis, it was up 15.8% as compared to the first five months of 2019, with a total of $262.5 million for the year so far. The Downloaded Audio format has seen continuous growth every month since 2012. Notably, Downloaded Audio revenues in the Children’s and YA Books category saw a strong 69.4% year-over-year increase in May to $5.4 million, lifting the total year-to-date audiobook revenues in the category by 24.7% to $23.7 million.
Physical paper formats in the Trade (consumer publications) category saw declines during the month, with Hardback revenues coming in at $212.1 million, a decline of 18.5%; Paperback revenues were $201.1 million, a fall of 16.9%; and Mass Market was $22.6 million, down 0.6%. On a year-to-date basis, Hardback revenues were $967.9 million, down 6.7%; Paperbacks were $924.5 million, down 3.0%; and Mass Market was $83.9 million, a decline of 1.2% as compared to the first five months of 2019.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve 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. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.