Audiobooks have become the fastest growing segment of the trade book publishing market. According to the latest numbers from the US-based Audio Publishers Association (APA), audiobooks made $1.77 billion in sales in North America in 2015, up by ⅕ from 2014. “And that’s just in North America”, adds Michele Cobb, executive director of the APA. “Worldwide, audiobooks are continuing to grow, too. It’s an exciting time to be in our industry.”
Though audiobooks have been around for a long time, recent technological advances have made them far more popular than ever before. “In 1987 you could only put so much material onto each record or onto each cassette or onto each CD,” says Cobb. “In a digital world, the file can be as large as you want, so you don’t need to worry about abridging any of the materials. You can carry an entire book with you. You have access to a larger amount of materials in a very easy-to-use format.”
In response to high demand, audiobook production is on the up. Available titles grew from 7, 00 in 2011 to more than 35, 00 in 2015, according to the APA, and there’s now a wide choice of books instead of just bestsellers.
Source: “Audiobooks make noise”, Christopher Kenneally, London Show Daily, P.26