Audiobook Sales Up for 10th Straight Year



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Publishers have reported that audiobook sales are up for the 10th straight year. Details of the increase come from the Audio Publishers Association’s (APA) Sales Survey conducted by InterQ.

The survey shows how audiobook revenue in 2021 was $1.6 billion, marking a 25% increase and the tenth straight year of double digit growth. There were around 74,000 audiobooks sold in 2021, which is 6% more than in 2020.

Going by percentage of sales, science fiction and fantasy was the most popular genre, closely followed by mystery/thrillers/suspense, romance, and fiction. The children’s and young adult categories also experienced increases, but the biggest growth of any category was romance, which saw a 75% increase in revenue.

Additionally, another APA survey called the 2022 Consumer Survey was conducted by Edison Research. It investigated audiobook demographics, finding:

  • That 41% of listeners subscribe to at least one audiobook subscription service.
  • 61% of parents say their children listen to audiobooks, which is up from 35% in 2020.
  • The percentage of Americans 18+ years old who have ever listened to an audiobook rose slightly from 44% to 45%.
  • Listeners still tend to prefer professional narrators over authors narrating.

Finally, the Edison Research’s Share of Ear® report gathered data on daily listening habits for Americans 13+ years old. The survey showed how the overall time spent listening to audiobooks has grown 106% since 2017.

All three studies considered simultaneously show how audiobook sales are up, and how they may continue to grow.

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.