While e-book sales were down 12 percent from the year before, it is interesting to see that audiobooks grew 38 percent. The new rise in audiobooks could be because of the renewed volume of audiobooks available in stores and online. It also doesn’t hurt that famous actors and actresses are helping to narrate digital audio. Sales growth shows that audiobooks accommodate a modern customer’s active lifestyle. For example, if you are tired of Spotify and Netflix at the gym, you can stream an audiobook and strengthen your mind. This idea is clearly starting to appeal to the masses.
Audiobook sales have tripled since 2011 and the average age of the listener has fallen considerably from 51 to 32. Many believed that the rise of tablets and smartphones would drive e-books, but not many predicted that audiobooks would flourish like this. Currently, the audiobook market is only worth a little more than $1.6 billion, but that is surely going to grow. Consider the audiobook subscription service Audible and Playster. A listener can receive a new audiobook each monthly for around $14 from audible or unlimited access to audiobooks from Playster, and both their selections is not grim and dusty like the audiobook section at a local library. They have all of the titles on the best seller list and some read by the authors themselves.
It is clear the days of the audiobook that comes with a hulking tome of ten CDs are long gone, but it is also more clear that consumers don’t care much about the differences between visual or auditory mediums (hence why the podcast is also on the rise as well). The rise of the audiobook could help to change publishing for good as it continues to bring in A-list celebrities and high quality interactions with an author’s words.