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The Rapid Growth of the Audiobook

While it’s been announced that eBook sales have continued to rise over the past few years, another trend that shows no signs of stopping in the near future is the audiobook.

With so many genres voiced by various actors (including Kate Winslet, Colin Firth, and many other well-known famous people), the audiobook provides the listener with an easy to understand format that can be used on the go.

How Big is the Audiobook Market?

A recent consumer survey revealed that audiobooks have exponentially grown with 46% of survey respondents having listened to audiobooks. This is compared to the 2010 findings whereby 37% claimed to listen to audiobooks, and 24% in the previous year. The audiobook industry is now claimed to be worth over a breathtaking £40m with Audible reporting sales of £29m last year alone.

Who’s Listening to Audiobooks?

Studies have found that audiobooks tend to appeal to well-educated and affluent adults of various age groups. It’s been found that those who listen to audiobooks channel their time into reading print books and taking part in activities rather than watching TV.

The average age of someone who listens to an audiobook is 51. However, those that are slightly older tend to prefer hard copies of the audiobook while those between 18 and 30 prefer downloadable audiobooks.

Where Do They Listen?

Three of the top reasons that people enjoy listening to audiobooks are:

• They can be listened to in the car

• They are portable (you can download directly to your phone)

• They help individuals to multitask (often it’s soothing to have calm noise in the background).

Audiobook listeners are quick to admire the convenience and ease of the format, especially during car travel. Many find them to be the perfect entertainment during a long trip. Surveys reveal that the CD format continues to be popular when it comes to audiobooks.

Key Challenge 

One of the biggest challenges that audiobook publishers and distributors face is finding new listeners out with the book reading population. However, essentially, those who use audiobooks are the same users of eBooks or print books; they’re simply using a different format to take in the information.

Moving Forward

Audiobooks do have two things in their favor when it comes to gaining further fans from out with the book world. The first is podcasts. These allow anyone and everyone to access radio shows, discussions and other forms of audio and download them for consumption.

The second is how fast audio technology is developing and growing. Before long, more and more readers will be turning to audiobooks as an easier way to ingest the story – through listening.

With the fast paced lifestyles that many people have these days, it’s no wonder that audiobook sales continue to rise. For many, it’s a question of why take unnecessary time to read a book when you can listen to it while driving to work or walking the dog?

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