Consumer Use of Audiobooks Continues to Rise

From Publishers Weekly:

Half of all Americans over the age of 12 have listened to an audiobook in the past year, according to a new consumer survey and research report from Edison Research and Triton Media, conducted on behalf of the Audio Publishers Association. This is up from 44% of in 2018. The further penetration can be attributed to more users listening in cars. According to the new report, 74% of audiobook consumers listen in their car, up from 69% in 2018, and 19% percent of Americans age 12 and older have access to an in-dash information and entertainment system in their (or their family’s) vehicle, up from 15% last year — of those, 62% who have in-dash systems have listened to an audiobook.

Home listening is second most popular way of listening to audiobooks, with 68% of respondents saying they listen at home, down from 71% in 2018. The survey revealed that 42% of audiobook listeners age 18 and older own a smart speaker (Alexa or Google Home device, for example) and of those, nearly one-third are using them to listen to audiobooks.

The survey confirmed the popularity of audiobooks among younger listeners, with 55% of all listeners being under the age of 45.

. . . .

On average, audiobook listeners consumed 6.8 audiobooks in the last 12 months, which is up from 6.5 in the previous survey; 24% have listened to 10 or more in that period.

Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly

4 thoughts on “Consumer Use of Audiobooks Continues to Rise”

  1. Yuck. 😉

    Nonfiction, sure. Fiction, I need text. I absolutely hate dramatic readings. I should do audio books because I recognize that there are oodles of people out there who aren’t like me, but I cringe every time I imagine someone reading my books aloud. It literally makes me shudder. When the cost is so high and return so low for niche books like mine, it’s easy to just put this off indefinitely and ignore all the yammering about the steadily increasing popularity of audio books. I’ve had readers ask. I’ve had to tell them no.

  2. My own experience is that to do audio right it’s one heckuva up front cost per title. In addition, it’s another marketing/distribution stream that we just couldn’t see ourselves handling well. F’rinstance, more than half our title have yet to be formatted for print, and I’m too cheap to pay a formatter.

    Last November or so, a pro narrator, entirely on her own approached us and sent an unsolicited narration of the first chapter of one of our books.

    It blew me away. Her voice brought a dimension to the tale that I never saw, and I wrote half the stuff she was saying (as well as edited the whole thing…) I was smoked.

    BUT…
    ah say BUT
    The costs were prohibitive- I think it was about $250.00/completed hour; about $1-2K/ per book. We had to take a pass. I truly believe I was just as disappointed as dear Kristen James. She deserved every penny, but it was just too far outside our wheelhouse to justify the expenditure.

    BUT…
    ah say BUT
    In January we were approached by Tantor for a 3 book deal. My bud Thomas had been approached by them last summer, so I was somewhat familiar w/ them from chatting about it w/ Tom. Tom took a pass, but we talked w/ them. We came to terms, and they’re currently in production for the books.

    The great thing is that the radiant Kristen James is one of the narrators they’ve worked with! YAY!

    So I’m really curious to see how well we do in audio. REALLY curious. Like breaking my fingers ‘cuz they’re so crossed curious, lol.

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