found growing interest in children’s and young adult titles.
Taking a closer look at which types of audiobooks are selling,
;ction still leads the pack with a 77.4% share.
In June, the APA also released the results from a consumer
behavior survey, which was conducted by Edison Research, an
independent ;rm, in March and April of this year. The data
provide some additional information about who is listening to
what, and why. Fifty-;ve million Americans listened to at least
one audiobook in 2014, and 41% of Americans aged 18 and up
have listened to at least one audiobook in their lifetimes.
One-third of respondents who identify as frequent audiobook listeners fall into the 25–34 age bracket, indicating that
younger listeners are buying audiobooks. This change is likely due to
the prevalence of the digital download format. Meanwhile 73% of all
audiobook listeners, and 82% of
frequent listeners, report listening
to titles downloaded digitally.
As to what appeals to listeners,
the responses will look familiar.
Mysteries/thrillers/suspense was the
most popular listening genre, followed closely by history/biography/
memoirs and popular ;ction; 85%
of respondents said that the most
important factor in their decision to
purchase an audio title is its subject.
And 25% of all audiobook listeners
currently subscribe to an audiobook
service such as Audible or Scribd. ;
The results of the latest annual sales survey from the Audiobook Publishers Associationarein, andtheyshow big jumps in both sales and title output in 2014.
According to the APA, retail sales of audiobooks totaled over
$1.47 billion last year, an increase of 13.5% compared to 2013.
And unit sales were up 19.5%. The sales estimates
are based on reports from 17 APA members and have
been projected to cover the entire U.S. market.
On the production side, the number of audiobook titles published by the 17 companies in 2014
climbed to nearly 26,000, a 4.2% increase compared to 2013.
As might be expected, the audiobook industry’s growth is largely fueled by the increasing popularity of the
digital download format. In 2014, dollar sales of digital downloads increased 7.3%, and unit sales of digital downloads increased 10%. Overall, 76.9% of units sold by the 17 companies
in 2014 were downloads.
The lion’s share of audiobook sales still comes from adult
titles, which make up 87% of the market, although the survey
APA Survey: Audiobook Sales,
Production Still Growing
;BY SHANNON MAUGHAN
AUDIOBOOK UNIT SALES BY FORMAT, 2013 V. 2014
AUDIOBOOK TITLE OUTPUT, 2010–2014
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 CHGE
(2010 v. 2014)
6,200 7,237 16,309 24,755 25,787 316%
“A masterpiece of
—The New York Times
Book Review on Freedom
author C.J. Box
is back with a
of suspense Read by Jenna Lamia, Dylan Baker,
and Robert Petkoff
On Sale September 1
Read by January LaVoy
On Sale Now
listen to excerpts at www.macmillanaudio.com