From Yahoo News:
As the audiobook market has been booming these past few years, a growing number of actors are lending their distinctive voices to the audio adaptations of our favorite books.
While Deloitte predicts that the global audiobook market will generate $3.5 billion in 2020, publishers are increasingly willing to spend five-figure sums to attract big-name narrators such as Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson, Reese Witherspoon and Tom Hanks.
Among them are also former First Lady Michelle Obama, who collaborated with the Amazon-owned Audible for the audio adaptation of her bestselling memoir “Becoming.”
The 19-hour-long audiobook notably won the award for Best Spoken Word Album at the 2020 Grammy Awards.
With all forms of audio storytelling soaring in popularity, publishers are mounting hugely ambitious productions with star-dubbed ensemble casts and unique soundscapes to appeal to audiobook listeners.
For instance, Penguin Random House Audio has enlisted a record-breaking number of 166 narrators to record the audio adaptation of George Saunders’ Booker Prize-winning “Lincoln in the Bardo.”
Among them were A-list talent such as Ben Stiller, Don Cheadle, Rainn Wilson, Julianne Moore, Megan Mullally, David Sedaris, Keegan-Michael Key and Nick Offerman.
“I love the idea that by casting actors and non-actors. We were able to simulate that ‘I hear America singing’ notion,” Saunders said of the award-winning audiobook, which he also narrated.
More recently, Audible has enlisted award-winning British writer Dirk Maggs to direct the first-ever audio adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman,” which will be narrated by the author himself alongside a star-dubbed cast.
Link to the rest at Yahoo News
This interested PG on a couple of different aspects of the OP.
First, he’s interested that Audiobooks have become a large enough market that traditional publishers are willing to spend the not-insignificant sums necessary to acquire the audio performance talents of Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.
Someone in the bean-counter department has not laid/lain/etc. across the tracks to prevent the expenditure of an extremely large sum of money on any audiobook, expecting that it won’t be a giant money-loser.
His second observation is that actors who excel in one medium do not necessarily excel in a different one.
There is the famous historical phenomenon of successful silent-screen actors and actresses not being able to make a successful transition to films with sound tracks.
There are also extremely-talented radio performers who wouldn’t be employable by the standards of any major television network.
Ditto for film and/or television stars who would bomb on radio.
Voice acting is its own craft/art. The difference between excellent voice acting and mediocre performances will, in PG’s voice actresses/actors who wouldn’t be able to work successfully as voice actors.
Certainly star power may, as a promotional element, increase the sales of an audiobook. Tom Hanks’ or Emma Thompson’s name will certainly result in more sales of an audiobook than PG’s name would.
PG will be interested in the opinions of the highly-intelligent visitors to TPV concerning how well a star of stage/screen/television does in an audio recording booth.
PG lacks even more expertise on audiobook quality then he lacks for a variety of other topics about which he regularly opines.
As PG has mentioned before, for him, audiobooks are a welcome accompaniment to long stretches of relatively straight interstate highways when the time during which cruise control is activated is measured in hours. At home and elsewhere, PG consumes books in the old-fashioned manner on his Kindle.
Therefore, PG will be interested in opinion of audiobook aficionados who hang around this joint.