The New York Times is launching an audiobook best-seller list on Thursday.
The lists, which combine digital and physical audio sales, will debut online on Thursday, March 8, and in print in the Sunday Book Review on March 18.
Moving forward, the Best-Seller Lists, which previously published online on Fridays, will now publish on Thursday mornings.
“The vibrant growth of audiobooks in the industry has created a need for an impartial, reliable source for tracking and reporting the top-selling audiobooks across the country,” said Pamela Paul, editor of The New York Times Book Review. “The Times recognizes the increased reader and listener interest in audiobooks, as well as in the Book Review's increasing depth of coverage of audiobooks, and we’re thrilled we’ll be able to provide them independent data they can rely on.”
The Book Review will continue to publish in print the Combined Lists and Hardcover Lists each week. The third page will highlight other Best-Seller Lists on a weekly rotating basis, including the following categories: Paperback (Trade Fiction and Paperback Nonfiction), the four Children’s Books lists, and Audiobooks.
The Children’s Books Lists and Paperback Lists will continue to be updated and posted weekly online, and in response to reader interest, the Paperback Lists will now expand from 10 books to 15.
They won't name their sources, but that doesn't necessarily mean that this list is invalid. While Amazon is notoriously protective of their sales data, there are companies, including that new venture from Data Guy, which could supply data to the NYTimes.
It could be Data Guy, or the NYTimes could be teasing audiobook sales data out of Amazon Charts, or getting data from smaller audiobook distributors like Findaway and Downpour.
But let's face facts: Amazon controls close to 90% of the audiobook market, and if the NYTimes isn't getting data from Amazon then this list has absolutely no connection with reality.
image by Jon Grado