Audiobook Revenue Grows Exponentially in 2018

UPDATE: PG apologizes, but it appears Book Riot took the OP down at some time after PG grabbed the link. He’s searched on Book Riot but can’t find the OP anywhere.

From Book Riot:

New numbers are out from the Association of American Publishers (AAP) on the continued growth of audiobooks consumption. The numbers, which cover sales in calendar year 2018, showed that the US book publishing industry generated $25.82 billion in net revenue. This number represents what the publishers took in in revenue, not what sales were to retailers and consumers. This $25.82 billion included trade audiobooks, as well as audiobooks for higher education, educational instruction materials for K-12, university presses, and professional books.

. . . .

Trade audiobook revenue — representing fiction, nonfiction, and religious presses — were up in 2018 by roughly 1.5% to $16.19 billion dollars. Revenue from trade audiobooks, the industry’s largest category, has steadily grown since 2014 to the tune of over $760 million dollars.

. . . .

Revenue growth was highest for nonfiction books across both adult and children’s/YA titles over the past five years, with children’s and young adult nonfiction audiobook revenue growing nearly 39% since 2014. Unit sales (the number of products sold) increased in both categories too, with adult nonfiction audiobooks up nearly 21% and children’s/young adult nonfiction increasing nearly 18%.

. . . .

“In an oversaturated new media market, one medium is tried and true – books. Contrary to popular belief, technology hasn’t hindered a good story. Rather, it has helped an increasingly busy society continue to consume books, in a world full of always-on distractions. Reading technology has given people the option to choose the format that can be seamlessly integrated into their traditional reading habits,” [the Rakuten Overdrive] report began.

Link to the rest at Book Riot

5 thoughts on “Audiobook Revenue Grows Exponentially in 2018”

  1. PG, when I clicked on your Book Riot link I got the error message: “Hmmm… Something’s amiss! We’re sorry, but the page you were looking for no longer exists.”

    It’s possible that the page has been taken down because the numbers don’t make any sense?

  2. Felix, the trouble with your link is that it is more than a year old and almost certainly does not cover the same data as Book Riot. There is a recent PW story at but this is hidden behind a paywall.

    However, the numbers in your link, even if a year out of date, do make a lot more sense than those in the OP. Book Riot’s $16.19 billion for trade only audio books makes no sense in relation to their other figures and the 1.5% growth doesn’t match their headline.

    • I’m not sure their methodology and extrapolated numbers have much validity at all, regardless of year.

      • LOL, “extrapolated” means exactly whatever you want it to mean. No more or less.

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