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Publishers' Audiobook Sales Increased 24% in 2018

The Audio Publishers Association released the results of a survey yesterday that showed audiobook sales for a limited group of publishers totaled $940 million in 2018, up 24.5% from the previous year.

Twenty publishers were surveyed, including Penguin, Hachette, Audible, and S&S, and the data they reported back revealed that 91.4% of audiobook revenues came from digital audiobook sales.

The publishers produced 44,685 audiobook titles last year, up 5.8% from 2017. The most popular genres sold as audiobook in the US are fantasy, SF, mysteries/thrillers/suspense, and general fiction. Non-fiction audiobook sales represented 32.7% of unit sales in 2018, with self-help, history/bio/memoir, and general non-fiction.

In addition to selling more audiobooks that were first published as books, publishers continue to invest in “Audio First” titles. Revenue from audio productions such as The Last Days of August grew 11.2%, and unit sales grew by 37.7%.

“The research confirms that audio publishing continues its upward trajectory. Seven consecutive years of double-digit growth is truly extraordinary,” says Chris Lynch, CoChair of the APA’s Research Committee and President & Publisher, Simon & Schuster Audio. “More audiobooks are being produced and more people are listening than ever.”

image by surajpattandar via Flickr

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