Some Juicy Audiobook Tidbits

Facts on a growing part of publishing.

July 4, 2013

Audiobooks are hot.

The NYTimes has run two recent articles about the audiobook universe:

Expanding the Market for Audiobooks Beyond Commuters (6/11/13)

Actors Today Don’t Just Read for the Part. Reading IS the Part  (6/29/13

According to a recent report Understanding the Audiobook Buyer in the Digital Age sales of audiobooks have been increasing over 10 percent a year, with revenues of $1.2 billion dollars in 2011.  

Some audiobook facts:

  • 2012 was a big year for audiobooks, with revenue up 22 percent compared to the previous year.
  • The average audiobook reader spends 3.5 hour per week listening.
  • Audiobook listeners spend more time reading print and digital books than non-audiobook listeners.
  • The average age of an audiobook listener is 51, with a mean income of $76,000.  
  • People who download audiobooks (as opposed to listen from a CD) tend to be younger (44) and have more income ($84,000) than the average listener.
  • The most popular method to listen to audiobooks is while driving (47%) with working around the house (25%) and exercising (23%) coming next.
  • A somewhat surprising finding is that only 30% of audiobook listeners report "nonfiction" as their favorite category, with mystery/suspense suspense capturing the top slot at 47%.
  • Audiobook actors earn on average between $1,000 and $3,000 per book (although superstar audiobook actors and celebrities can earn much more).
  • Audible, the Amazon subsidiary that is the largest audiobook publisher, produced over 10,000 audiobooks last year.

Are you an audiobook listener?

Where and how do you get your audiobooks?

Where do academic libraries and audiobooks stand?   

Should academic libraries be investing in audiobooks?  

What licensing options do libraries have for audiobooks?


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