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AUDIOBOOKS
Nearly 26,000 Audiobook Titles Published In 2014;
Rapid Expansion Pushes Sales To $1.47 Billion

July 14, 2015

(VOXtra) - As newcomers flock to the audiobook narrator niche - and seasoned narrators cope with increasing demands on their time and skills (see Audiobook Narrators Business Survey reports) - the audiobook industry's rapid expansion shows no signs of slowing down.

"Unit sales were up 19.5%" in 2014 from the prior year, reports the Audiobook Publishers Association (APA) in highlights from its annual member sales survey. By comparison, that's nearly five times the increase of the overall book trade industry in the same time period, notes the APA.

The APA estimates that 25,787 audiobook titles were published in 2014, which is 1,032 more titles than in 2013.

And audiobook sales dollar volume climbed 13.5% over the prior year, to more than $1.47 billion, the APA reports.

"The growth of the industry is largely due to the growing popularity of the digital download and increasing awareness and profile for the audiobook format," APA says. "Sales of digital downloads continue to rise – showing an increase of 7.3% in dollars and a full 10% in units sold from the previous year."

The APA logs this escalation of titles published over the past five years:
  • 2010: 6,200
  • 2011: 7,237
  • 2012: 16,309
  • 2013: 24,755
  • 2014: 25,787
GENRE PREFERENCES

The APA notes that while adult titles continue to account for 87% of sales, children and young adult titles are on the rise, with a 3.7% increase in sales from 2013 to 2014.

A recent APA study of consumer behavior revealed a strong demand for titles for younger listeners, with 36% of respondents reporting listening to children’s or YA audiobooks.

Fiction continues to represent the vast majority of audiobooks, sold with roughly 77.4% of audios being fiction vs. 22.6% non-fiction.

The unabridged format continues to dominate, with 91% of audios sold being in this format, the APA adds.

ABOUT THE APA

The APA is a not-for-profit trade association that advocates the common, collective business interests of audio publishers. Members are audio publishing companies and allied suppliers, distributors, narrators and retailers of spoken word products and allied fields related to the production, distribution and sale of audiobooks.

For more about the APA and its programs, visit www.audiopub.org.


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