Audiobook Publishers Association Reports Tenth Straight Year of Double-Digit Growth; Revenue Up 25% in 2021 to $1.6 Billion, 74,000 Audiobooks Published
From the Audiobook Publishers Association:
Publishers’ audiobook revenue grew 25% in 2021 to $1.6 billion, which marks the tenth straight year of double-digit growth, according to the Audio Publishers Association’s Sales Survey conducted by InterQ.
Nearly 74,000 audiobooks were published in 2021, a 6% increase over 2020. Science Fiction and Fantasy narrowly edged out Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense as the most popular genre by percentage of sales, with Romance and Fiction following close behind, and increases in Children’s and Young Adult revenue. This year, the romance genre experienced the most growth with a 75% increase in revenues, followed by self-help (34%) and science fiction (32%).
Additionally, Edison Research conducted the Audio Publishers Association’s 2022 Consumer Survey Found:
- The percentage of Americans 18+ who have ever listened to an audiobook is now 45%, up from 44% in 2020.
- Membership in audiobook services increased, with 41% of listeners indicating they subscribe to at least one such service.
- 54% of audiobook listeners are under the age of 45.
- 70% of consumers agree audiobooks are a good choice for relaxing.
- 61% of parents say their children listen to audiobooks, compared to the 35% measured in 2020. This sharp increase is almost certainly due to pandemic-related school disruptions. Listeners continue to prefer professional narration over author-read books.
Key corresponding data from Edison Research’s Share of Ear® report, which tracks daily listening habits for Americans 13+.
- The overall share of time spent listening to audio (Share of Ear) for audiobooks has grown 106% since 2017.
- Daily audiobook listeners spend more time listening to books than any other form of audio
(radio, podcasts, etc.).
- Daily reach of audiobook consumption has grown 94% since 2017.
- Daily audiobook listeners spend 2+ hours more per day listening to audio content than the
general population (6:34 vs 4:11).
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.