Audiobooks as we know them now have been around since the 1980s, but have seen an incredible amount of growth in recent years – 13% since 2017 and a staggering 87% since 2014. A lot of this growth can be attributed to two things:
accessibility: being able to listen to books via the smartphones we carry with us every day
affordability: subscription models mean that an otherwise be a very expensive product can be acquired at a much reduce rate.
The key benefit of the audio format to readers is perhaps obvious: reading more books via multitasking. The ability to be ‘reading’ while physically engaged in another activity – commuting, exercising, gardening, cooking – means that more books can be read while not sacrificing time for these other things.
But what does audio mean for traditional publishing? Some might feel that audiobooks are ‘stealing’ sales from their print and e incarnations, but even with the growth of the last few years, audio still only accounts for about 5% of the market. Audiobooks do not necessarily need to be a threat to the textual form, but can be a complementary – and all sales are sales.
The below article from Michael Kozlowski at Good e-Reader provides a fascinating analysis of all things audiobook for 2019. Get stuck in…
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