March 23, 2021– Happy Tuesday, Friends! Today is supposed to be warm and sunny and I’m so excited to get outside. I hope that you are too. But first, let’s get down to business and answer today’s question from a reader in Florida.
Q: “I’m a new author and someone told me that audiobooks are taking over from print books. Is this true and do you have any information on this?”
A: Thanks for sending in your question; we received it last week and would like to thank Kinga Ulazka McDonald for her research on this topic, for providing the information below, and for interning at our company! Let’s dive in: How many people used audiobooks in 2020? What is the increase or decrease from the year before? Which genres were most listened to? What are the projections of potential listeners in 2021 and beyond?
According to Forbes:
• US publishers reported audiobook: 2018- totaled $940 million
• revenue-has increased 24.5% year to year since 2017
• U.K. – last year, 2020 audio books were up 43%
• 25% increase in the U.S in 2020
• according to Canada Statistics, in 2020 96% of people said they read a print book last year,
61% said they read an ebook, and 49% said they listened to an audiobook.
• “66% of people said they prefer print books, 16% said they prefer ebooks, and 8% said they
prefer audiobooks”- USA
• More than 50% of ebook and audiobook listeners still prefer print
• Ebook readers prefer ebooks and audiobooks over print
• audiobooks are becoming more popular among readers.
• Canadian Leisure & Reading Study 2020: 49% of respondents had listened to at least one
audiobook during 2019.
• 26% of people said they listen to audiobooks at least once a week; crime genre is the most popular
Due to the 2020 pandemic and online streaming services, reading has truly changed:
Apple TV sells audiobooks on their Books service, but during the pandemic, they have done something different. In the past few weeks they are experimenting with something new with spoken-word content. US listeners can stream
13 audiobooks based on books by musicians. They’re part of the main Apple Music service, and thus offered within their subscription system”( Audiobook Trends and Statistics for 2020 ).
• as the pandemic continues into 2021, many people continue working from home, and with nowhere to travel to or in many areas, with “stay at home “orders, thus giving them more time to read, in what ever form that looks like
• Next year’s report, 2022, should be interesting due to the ongoing global pandemic
• publishers release their sales figures, “expect audiobooks to grow by double digits and ebooks, instead of declining” (Audiobook Trends and Statistics for 2020).
From my own personal experience, I use audiobooks a lot. I travel quite frequently and I pop in my AirPods to listen to some great audiobooks while I wait for a flight or fly to a conference. I also listen to audiobooks on the road in my truck since I’m mobile, and of course, while in the tour bus. I think that they’re convenient and they allow me to multitask; I also listen while working out or walking Luna. I typically read at least 60 books a year and 40 of those are audiobooks. Audiobooks are great for people who are always on the go!
At Pandamonium Publishing House, we’re working on turning all of our books into audiobooks! Stay tuned for more details as they become available. Again, I’d like to thank Kinga Ulazka McDonald for her research and for putting together the stats and figures. LLB