Global Audiobook Trends and Statistics for 2017 – Good e-Reader – Good E

December 19, 2016 - Kindle Unlimited

Publishers have gifted an definitely abominable year for e-book sales and many of them have seen declines by around 12%, things have gotten so bad that many of them do not even news how many units were sold. They pronounce in extended generalities, that does not bode good for a destiny of a format.

Over a march of a past 3 years a tip flourishing shred of edition are audiobooks. The tellurian audiobook attention is now evaluated during $3.5 billion dollars and a United States is now a largest unaccompanied marketplace with $1.8 billion dollars in audio sales in 2016.  The The Audio Publishers of America has settled that each year for a final 3 years 36,000 audiobooks have been published per year. When it comes right down to it, a retailers are a ones who advantage from a audiobook series some-more than anyone else. The immeasurable infancy of a companies that spoke to Good e-Reader have disclosed that they have seen triple series enlargement and design this trend to continue into 2017.

Key Audiobook Trends for 2016

One of a biggest trends of 2016 was a miss of origination and risk in a audiobook industry. Most companies handling in this space were in a holding pattern, focusing on growth, instead of new business models and opposite ideas. The core concentration was ubiquitous enlargement and a converging in a industry.

Most of a risk that companies took, was in 2015. We witnessed a arise of audiobooks being enclosed into a sum subscription model, to varying degrees of success. There was also lots of experimentation, such as a BITLIT model of e-book/audiobook bundling and automobile manufactures including giveaway audio calm when we bought a new ride.

The many renouned audiobook genres in 2016 were mystery, thriller, intrigue and fantasy/science fiction. Retailers and publishers explained that listeners are heavily enamoured with following a executive impression who has opposite story arcs.  Incidentally, these are also a many renouned genres in e-books, so there is tiny intersection between a dual formats.  There will be tiny flaw from these patterns in 2017.

One of a largest new trends of 2016 and 2017 will be existent companies including audiobooks in their portfolio and leveraging their existent patron bottom to try out a new format and beget some-more sales. Additionally, there will be some-more companies leveraging podcasts as a gateway to audiobooks, given both formats are on a rise. A good instance of this is Tunein Radio, who was a song initial association and branched out into podcasts and afterwards grown a plain audiobook collection. we presupposition Pandora, Spotify and other companies will arise identical strategies.

The Latin American marketplace is sepulchral and one of a large trends of 2017 will be new companies entering a marketplace and giving UBOOK a run for their money. The reason for this is essentially due to a penetrating bargain of a internal marketplace and how many consumers are peaceful to compensate for audiobooks. Publishers and retailers are not fearful to change a prices due to marketplace conditions.

Small informal players are going to emerge in 2017 and concentration on one specific nation and arise a clever participation opposite multi-nationals. Scandinavia is one burgeoning marketplace with usually 500 digital titles accessible and 100 that were constructed in 2016 alone. This is formulating an event for local companies to start early and grow organically. Some critical entrants in a margin are Nextory, and Fabula, who both have made unlimited audiobooks work and contend a healthy profit. Storytel is a good instance of a association that usually detonate onto a stage a few years ago and has fast turn a largest of a kind.

The phone in your slot is cited by publishers and retailers as a many renouned device in that people listen to audiobooks. Apps are starting to benefit some-more functionality and curation is starting to turn a vital focus.

If we steal and checkout audiobooks from a library, many of a time we need mixed apps in sequence to do it. The New York Public Library grown a opposite methodology, they done a unaccompanied app that enclosed calm from Overdrive, 3M, Baker and Taylor, Zinio and Educational publishers.  The NYPL has settled that other libraries will arise a unaccompanied resolution as good in 2017 and this will mislay barriers to serve audiobook adoption.

There is a flourishing trend in behaving schools and film programs conducted by seasoned narrators in a audiobook industry. They are training immature actors about how to scrupulously voice audiobooks and advising them that it is a really remunerative career path.

Good e-Reader has conducted a month prolonged poll where we asked users about a audiobook shopping habits and where they tend to listen to a purchases they have made. 753 people voted and it looks like Audible is a many renouned service, that garnered 16.6% of a vote. 13.55% steal them from a library by companies like Overdrive, while 7.44% bandit them from websites or forums. Surprisingly sum subscription services like Kindle Unlimited and Scribd did really feeble with a users who collectively represented 3.05% of a vote. Where do users listen to audiobooks a most? 18.99% listen to them during home, 15.41% in their motorcar and 11.69% on open transportation.

Last year Nielson has begun tracking audiobook sales and have been arising a few reports, though mostly have been roving to several edition circuits and conducting talks. At a new Future Book Conference Jo Henry told a fabricated assembly that audio downloads “were adult 30 percent and 50 percent over final year. Just about 10 percent of UK adults have listened to an audiobook over a final twelve months to Jun 2016.

“In 2015, a marketplace for audiobooks was removing on for about 11 million units, 60 percent of that were downloads and over £90 million (US$113 million) of spending. we consider these are in suit to a incomparable USA market.

Audiobook Business Models

Retail continues to be a many viable proceed to sell audiobooks to consumers, though there are a series of other placement models that continue to benefit popularity.

Publishing companies such like Blackstone Audio, Gildan Media, Hachette AudioHarperAudio, and Naxos Audiobooks have all committed themselves to audiobook subscription services and this shred of a attention is thriving.

The largest association now handling in this space is Amazon Kindle Unlimited. Not usually do they have a outrageous preference of e-books, though they also offer thousands of audiobooks. The Codex Group has reported in their April 2015 consumer survey, 12.4% of digital book consumers have a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Good e-Reader Research also has Kindle Unlimited as a many dominant player in a field. In a new investigate Amazon had 52% of a vote, while Scribd had 28.21.

In sequence to indurate their position as a many widespread actor in a audiobook space, Amazon launched a new module in 2016 called Prime Reading. This use launched with e-books, though in Nov 2016 they are now charity audiobooks. Amazon has told me that in 2017 they will boost their library with thousands of audio titles.

Scribd is a second largest association handling in a audiobook sector. Andrew Weinstein, Scribd’s VP of Content Acquisition and Strategy officer told Good e-Reader that “This year, we’ve augmenting a audiobook catalog by some-more than 17%. We now offer some-more than 70,000 audiobooks opposite all genres.”

He went on to contend “. This year, we’ve combined some-more titles from existent partners, including Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, and Simon Schuster, and brought on new partners like Brilliance Audio. We also charity an “Unlimited Listens” graduation this summer to a members, giving sum entrance to some-more than 5,000 audiobooks.”

Sometimes audiobooks do not suffer a same form of graduation as e-book. There are a serious miss of blogs and examination websites that specialize in audio content. Scribd addressed this emanate and pronounced “The infancy of a members suffer calm in both formats — in fact, 70% of subscribers who listen to audiobooks also rivet with other forms of calm on Scribd.

To assistance a readers find a calm that matters many to them, we rolled out a new find knowledge that breaks down a barriers between calm forms and groups them by interest. By regulating this calm dubious approach, it’s easier than ever for readers to dive low into any topic.

We also occupy several strategy when compelling content. This includes formulating reading or listening lists formed on award-winning books or authors, thematic lists, editor reviews and spotlights, and personalized recommendations formed on prior reading and listening activity.”

TuneIN Radio is a new entrant to a audiobook marketplace and they have combined an endless catalog of over 65,000 audiobooks from scholarship novella to story and all in between on a platform. This is a enlargement of approximately 62% given a library non-stop adult with a launch of TuneIn Premium in Aug 2015.

One of a hurdles that TuneIN has faced is compelling their audiobook calm in further to their outrageous portfolio of music. The association told Good e-Reader that “TuneIn will suggest a tip 10 audiobooks accessible formed on tide bestsellers, as good as curated selections. We also implemented new “Featured Banners” with strange design within a audiobooks territory of a app charity a roundup of titles in subjects like “Fall Reads,” “True Crime,” “New Releases,” and “Biographies and Memoirs.” Additionally, a offline listening feature, that recently launched on a app for podcasts, will be entrance to Audiobooks in 2017.

Starting subsequent year TuneIN will be adding functionality for offline listening. TuneIn recently denounced this new underline to a some-more than 5.7 million podcasts, permitting for users to download calm for listening though a mobile information or wifi connection. The offline listening experience, in further to encrypted playback, will supplement approximately 15-20k audiobooks in a bureau subsequent year. They also settled that augmenting their subscriber bottom and consumer recognition of a calm accessible on TuneIn stays a primary idea for us in 2017. has a library of 100,000 titles accessible and they also reside by a subscription model. In 2016 a association combined over 20,000 new audiobooks to their library and their subscriber bottom has augmenting by over 60%.

Over 5 million hours of audio calm was listened to in 2015 and saw this figure boost to over 8 million hours in 2016. They design that in 2017 a sum listening hours will transcend over 10 million.

One of a ways they were means to grow so fast is fast embracing new platforms. They recently launched an Apple TV app and ironed out an agreement with Sonos.  They also determined partnerships with GM and OneStar to have audiobooks accessible in a car, with no phone required.

In 2017 skeleton to betray new find facilities for their finish line of apps. They will concentration on curation and sinecure some new editorial staff in sequence to put a spotlight on new titles and arise themes for holidays and special events. They also devise on expanding outward a United States into other markets. we presupposition that Canada and a United Kingdom will be initial on their list of priorities.

The many successful audiobook tradesman of them all, is Audible. The association essentially focuses on a US and a UK market, though they sell audiobooks all over a world.  It is tough to know accurately how many titles they have in their portfolio in a United States, though in a UK  they have over 250,000.

In 2016 Audible launched Channels, a initial vital beginning since the origination  of the Audiobook Creation Exchange in 2013. Audible Channels accessible for giveaway to monthly Audible subscribers, giveaway for Prime members or can be purchased as a standalone subscription. It facilities hundreds of podcasts, newspapers, comedy shows and tech shows.

When Audible Channels initial launched they 84 opposite companies that are contributing content, such as The Washington Post, USA Today, The New York Times, CNET, Reader’s Digest and Forbes. There are also 8 Audible podcasts that have been combined by an in-house team. Audible told me that additional strange calm will be combined on an ongoing basis.

Channels was designed to be a enrich to your existent Audible subscription. When we run out of your listening credits we can simply listen to additional content. we consider a large offered indicate is not everybody has time to listen to a 13 hour audiobook, though everybody can persevere an hour to listen to one of their podcasts or news shows.

So far, we have talked about many of a players that offer audiobook subscription services though where do they source their calm from? The answer is Findaway.

Jonas Tellander is a CEO of Storytel, a heading audiobook streaming use and now operates in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, a Netherlands, Poland and Finland.  In 2016 a association acquired their categorical competitor, Mofibo for £13.3 million. This has now solidified their position has being a many widespread force in Scandinavia.

Jonas told me that “2016 has been a really good year for Storytel. We have reached thousands of new subscribers and have now over 340’000 subscribers who listen to audiobooks frequently on their intelligent phones. We now have around 50’000 titles in 7 opposite languages and that is about a double a volume we had a year ago.”

One of a downfalls of handling in Europe is a miss of audiobook blogs and examination websites. This has forced Storytel to proceed this aspect of a marketplace in a totally opposite proceed “Since there are really few bloggers that examination audiobooks, and roughly no magazines, we have taken on that purpose ourselves. We yield a users with reviews of both new prohibited titles though also comparison backlist titles. Having roughly 50’000 books in a service, a series that grows each month, we need to work actively to assistance a users find a right content. We do that both with formulating a possess editorial calm though also with information driven recommendations within or app. Our users also emanate reviews and comments on books within a app.”

One of a biggest players in a whole audiobook attention is Findway, rigourously Findway World. This association is obliged for powering a calm libraries of 3M, Baker and Taylor, Barnes and Noble, Scribd and Tunein. Playster, BITLIT and they have a participation in over 100 opposite countries.

Their business indication centers around powering a collections for incomparable companies who have a large staff to arise their possess apps from blemish and have adequate people on staff to curate content. For smaller companies they offer a entirely featured white tag solution, that includes a elementary audiobook player.

Findaway has over 100,000 audiobooks in their library and all of their calm comes directly from a publishers. They have relations all of a vital publishers, though also a series of informal players. In sequence to boost a distance of their portfolio and compute themselves in a marketplace they are rising a new worldwide beginning called called Findaway Voices.

Findaway Voices will be rising in a initial entertain of 2017 and a new use will be directed during tiny boutique edition companies and indie authors. The grounds is to outsource a exegesis and sound engineering to 3rd parties and a author will be means to discharge their finished product to a whole Findaway Network. we consider is a outrageous rival advantage for authors given they can finally get correct placement into a open library system, though also other retailers such as TuneIn, Scribd and Barnes and Noble.

In early 2017 Good e-Reader will have a full story on Findaway Voices and be means to divulge how authors will be means to guard their sales in genuine time, around a backend portal and speak some-more about a costs to have an audio pretension constructed and how many income they can design to make. For now, we know that a author will keep all rights, so not usually can they discharge their audiobook to a Findaway network, though also manually contention it around a Audible Creation Exchange for inclusion into Audible and iBooks.


Audiobooks are some-more renouned in libraries than ever before and many companies who energy a collections for congregation to steal are saying double series growth.

Overdrive is a largest association that powers 75% of all Canadian and US libraries audiobook and e-book collections. Most tech companies concerned in this zone gaunt on 3rd celebration distributers though Overdrive does things really differently. They have built their possess audiobook ecosystem by substantiating relations directly with publishers. They possess a height and this puts them in a really singular position in a marketplace to be means to settle their possess fate.

Currently, OverDrive has 114,738 audiobook titles in their whole catalog and they reported to Good e-Reader that a altogether distance of their collection grew by 15% given final year. In 2015 Overdrive had 43 million audiobook loans and in 2016 they had 48 million. In 2017 it really expected that they will have tighten to 56 million checkouts.

Hadie Bartholomew is a Communications Manager during Overdrive. She spoke with Good e-Reader about how their audiobook section achieved in 2016. “2016 has been a conspicuous year for a enlargement of audiobooks. A record series of readers are branch to their internal library and propagandize to steal and download eBooks and audiobooks. More and some-more libraries and schools regulating OverDrive are adopting audiobooks for their digital collection as some-more people are anticipating and regulating this format.”

She went on to contend “while eBooks are experiencing good plain double series enlargement in libraries and schools, enlargement in audiobook lending is outpacing eBook lending with a 28% enlargement rate year over year. Schools and libraries are enjoying eBooks though audiobooks are augmenting during a solid pace.”

What are Overdrives skeleton for 2017? Hadie explained “One of a biggest trends for audiobooks is being means to stream.  Last year, OverDrive introduced OverDrive Listen, present streaming of audiobooks with synchronization on mixed devices. There’s no app to implement and we don’t need to download, usually press play and go.

With normal audiobooks, users would take mixed CDs with them or download all tools of a whole 10-12-hour novel.   As we are vital in a some-more connected world, streaming is apropos a flourishing trend permitting anytime and anywhere entrance on any device and awaiting to be means to collect adult accurately where we left off.  Instead of holding a time to download an audiobook, we can tide an audiobook in a car, during home or a bureau opposite opposite inclination though interruption.

OverDrive is really confident that audiobooks will turn some-more mainstream. We design it will grow in a non-fiction genre while it is still essentially a novella bestseller dominated market. We trust other large genres, that traditionally haven’t been clever categories for audiobooks, will start to suffer adoption. Non-fiction, self-help, educational are usually a few of a genres in that OverDrive expects to see enlargement in a audiobook format.

Audiobook Projections for 2017

Hachette Audio is one of a many inclusive publishers producing high peculiarity audiobooks and many of their calm sells really good in a sell and library sectors. Anthony Goff, Senior Vice President of Content Development told me that “In 2015, we published 447 audiobooks. We design a 20% increase in pretension count constructed by 2016, and a 2017 continues to enhance in both pretension count and extent of genres encompassed.”

One of a large trends of 2016 was a presentation of punch sized audio and Hachette capitalized on it. “People are listening on a go some-more and more, with entire mobile inclination creation it elementary to start and stop listening, and a whole new era is being reared on renouned podcasts. It’s usually healthy that publishers would share calm in several ways to strech consumers in their elite format. We saw good success in 2016 with Julian Fellowes’s BELGRAVIA, that was a strike with fans of his series Downton Abbey in sequence form and accessible opposite a several formats, including an app.”

eStories is a audiobook retailer and Matt Downing, Chief Marketing Officer projects that in 2017 “I design to see some-more classical books being reimagined and reproduced with luminary narrators and aloft prolongation quality.  It’s a good proceed to monetize a illusory catalogs of a edition partners.  Also, as film studios furnish some-more and some-more film adaptations of renouned books, we see audiobooks (with their aloft margins) personification a bigger purpose in a cross-merchandising efforts compared with film releases.”

Mark Pearson of Libro.FM pronounced “2017 will be a biggest year nonetheless for audiobooks. we consider we’ll see digital audiobooks strech 90% marketplace share, withdrawal usually 10% for CDs.”

Anthony Anderson of Select Music surmises that in 2017 “audiobooks will continue to grow with a co-ordinate augmenting revenues from digital sales. Physical (CD) sales are expected to continue to dip.”

Meaghan Sansom of Authors Republic is presaging “continued enlargement due to a arise of audiobook accessibility by in-car party consoles, planes, and TV app platforms like Apple TV.” She also thinks that a attention will see an boost in audio-exclusive productions  and predicts “growth in ubiquitous markets. “For a longest time this had been a North-American market, and this is changing really fast this will give arise to some-more unfamiliar denunciation calm from ubiquitous publishers and ubiquitous self-published authors.”

Peter Hudson of Vancouver formed BITLIT settled “I consider we’ll continue to see fast enlargement in audio over a entrance years. we consider within 2-3 years we’ll be saying 100% year on year enlargement in audio sales opposite a industry.”

Vitaly Petritchkovitch of surmises that “In 2017, we’ll see a lot some-more calm from a lot some-more competitors. Expect some-more publishers to be producing some-more calm for some-more retailers who will be servicing some-more customers! we design double series enlargement of a marketplace in 2017 as well.”

Andrew from Scribd thinks “audiobooks will continue to swell in popularity. Today’s consumers are multitasking some-more than ever – and audiobooks are a illusory proceed to supplement reading into daily routines. In addition, we consider we’ll continue to see digital audiobooks use turn some-more ubiquitous. we design luminary and comedy memoirs will continue to come out and do well, and that nonfiction that seeks to surprise or urge readers will be rarely sought-after.”

Wrap Up

Many people are unknowingly of one pivotal facet that propels a enlargement of a audiobook attention as whole. E-Books have group pricing, that means that a publishers settle a sell price. This was designed so many opposite retailers could contest in an even personification field.  Audiobooks on a other palm do not have group pricing. This allows retailers to have some-more coherence in cost adjusting and they are means to offer high discounts and sales in a bid to win over customers.

One of a biggest hurdles confronting a audiobook attention is a miss of audiobook examination websites. There are frequency anyone giving extensive reviews on prolongation quality, exegesis and if a audio chronicle is value buying. This is critical to a attention given audiobooks are expensive, we are mostly shelling out between $20 and $40. we also consider find in ubiquitous is starting to turn a problem. Every month hundreds of new titles are expelled and retailers/libraries are anticipating it severe to foster them.

The Good e-Reader Audiobook Report has been an ongoing tale for a past 3 years. It is a many extensive research of a attention and is accessible for free. This year we focused reduction on specific informal markets and some-more on a pivotal trends of 2016 and what retailers and publishers consider will start in 2017.

Michael Kozlowski (6718 Posts)

Michael Kozlowski is a Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been essay about electronic readers and record for a final 4 years. His articles have been picked adult by vital and internal news sources and websites such as a Huffington Post, CNET and more. Michael frequently travels to ubiquitous events such as IFA, Computex, CES, Book Expo and a innumerable of others. If we have any questions about any of his articles, greatfully send an email to

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