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A word in your ear – why the rise of audiobooks is a story worth celebrating

The Guardian: “…audiobooks have been riding a wave of popularity in the past three years, and it appears that lockdown only intensified our engagement with the spoken word. A recent report by Deloitte put some numbers on the phenomenal rise. Global sales have been growing at 25-30% per annum for the past three years and will hit $3.5bn in 2020, driven by the US and China, which each make up around a third of the market (for comparison, global print book sales are a whopping $145bn per annum). Britain comes in fourth, accounting for a mere 2% of the global market Deloitte points out that it doesn’t appear that the growth in audiobook sales is at the expense of printed books. Audiobook listeners tend to be younger – in their 20s and 30s on average – and it may be that audiobooks are taking market share from ebooks, whose sales have been declining in recent years (Deloitte predicts that audiobook sales are likely to overtake ebooks in the next few years). The report also suggests that audiobooks could be reaching people who had previously eschewed books altogether, but were now devouring this new medium..”

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