Surprising AudioBook Statistics
The most frequent listeners of audiobooks are ages 18-44 and 55% of all listeners are under the age of 45. Young adults that are college graduates are the most popular consumers of the format.
Speaking of roadtrips, Audiobooks are most often listened to in the car, but also are consumed while listeners are exercising, cleaning or doing other largely mindless task. Additionally, they've come to replace tv for some as a way to relax at the end of the day or to unwind before bed.
The rise in popularity of smart speakers, like Alexa and Google Home, seem to have contributed to their popularity, as these devices make it even easier and more appealing to listen to audiobooks. The rise of podcasts also seems to have contributed to this movement, as more and more consumers are comfortable using their devices to learn or be entertained through listening. All in all, while many factors are at play, the ever-increasing convenience of audiobooks primarily accounts for their growing success.
Still, it's worth noting that production quality has improved in recent years as has the quality of narration. As you might imagine, the person reading the book has a big impact on sales and overall success of an audiobook. The use of celebrities, popular authors and experienced readers has helped to drive success.
The Most Popular Audiobook Services
While Audible is the most popular source for audiobooks, it certainly is not the only one. Other services like Scribd and Kobo are becoming popular alternatives. Additionally, library borrowing is becoming easier and is on the rise. Through the use of Overdrive and Libby, library users are able to access and play thousands of different titles. Overdrive is used to checkout audiobooks from local libraries, and the Libby app is a user-friendly way to play the audiobook on your device.
If you're new to audiobooks and not sure about trying this format, start by checking out a title from your local library. It's a free and easy way to join the audiobook movement.
Plus, more and more people are using audiobooks as a way to learn about topics that they don't think they could get through in print form. So, seems like an overall win to make more books and more information accessible.
For the most part, the publishing industry agrees and is not yet concerned about audiobooks "cannibalizing" print sales. From their perspective, it's still a relatively small percentage of sales and it gives authors another way to connect to readers.
I love audiobooks and regularly listen to them while driving, cleaning or working out. If you haven't yet given them a try, download Overdrive and Libby today and check out your local library's catalog. And, if you're not sure what to listen to first, here's a list of the best audiobooks of all time to help get you started. If you have a favorite audiobook or a favorite narrator, please comment so we can all expand our listening horizons!