Canadians continued to be enamoured with digital audiobooks and ebooks. In 2019, 5% of book purchases were for audiobooks, which is up from 3.6% in 2018. Meanwhile, hardcovers accounted for 24% of purchases, which is down from 25.9% in 2018. Meanwhile paperbacks account for 49% of all book purchases and ebooks continue to grow at 17%.
Digital audiobook sales are likely higher than they are reported by Booknet Canada, this is because major publishers do not disclose how much revenue they are generating from their content in subscription based sites, such as Scribd or Kindle Unlimited.
Other insights from the surveying include the breakdown of purchases according to sales channel. Online channels (including websites, ebook/audio downloads, and mobile apps) accounted for 51% of book purchases in 2019, which is down from 52.5% in 2018, but relatively flat going back to 2017. Physical channels (including chain stores, indies, general retailers, discount stores, book clubs, and grocery) accounted for 49% of purchases, which is up from 47% in 2018, but again, relatively flat since 2017.
When it comes to subjects purchased in 2019 across all formats, 52% were for Fiction titles, 35% for Non-Fiction, and 13% for Juvenile/YA.
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.