GVR Report cover Audiobooks Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Audiobooks Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Genre, By Preferred Device (Smartphones, Laptops & Tablets, Personal Digital Assistants), By Distribution Channel, By Target Audience, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2022 - 2030

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68038-588-5
  • Number of Pages: 300
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Range: 2018 - 2020
  • Industry: Technology

Report Overview

The global audiobooks market size was valued at USD 4,219.0 million in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.4% from 2022 to 2030. The flexibility and versatility features of audiobooks allow individuals to listen to the content at any time. Audiobooks make content easily accessible on electronic devices, irrespective of time and place. The availability of the internet and various IoT devices provide easier ways for consumers to listen to audiobooks.

U.S. audiobooks market size, by genre, 2020 - 2030 (USD Million)

Audiobooks are gaining popularity among individuals due to numerous benefits, such as listening on the move and multitasking. From Compact Discs (CDs) and books-on-tape with portable media players in the early 2000s to smartphones becoming ubiquitous in the present day, the audiobooks market has effortlessly grown by embracing new listening modes. The penetration of the internet has also bolstered increasing traction among viewers. The widespread use of smart home technologies has opened abundant opportunities for the market.

Furthermore, multiple activities, such as e-mail transmission of papers, digital recordings, and tablet computers instead of physical files, have benefited from the technological advancements in the production of audiobooks. The growing number of home-based studios has allowed narrators to reduce the time it takes to make audiobooks while also lowering operating costs.

The rise of digital transformation technologies is expected to catalyze audiobook market innovation. The integration of advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made it easier for customers to obtain audiobooks, and publishers have also benefited from the current form of technology, which allows them to convert their physically written manuscripts to audio files.

Amateur authors, narrators, and publishers can make reasonable quality audiobooks and establish a career in the audiobook creation profession with the help of any regular IoT device and free version of the program. Key market participants are deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI) to offer customized results to their users based on their listening history. Other AI capabilities, such as automating narrations of recorded materials to improve text-to-speech technologies and providing file summaries with key takeaways, are expected to drive the market in the next eight years.

Audiobooks are increasingly popular among younger age groups and growing users. The growing popularity of audiobooks among the younger generation is predicted to boost market growth, as these individuals are likely to encourage their families and inspire their peers, resulting in a larger pool of potential customers. Moreover, audiobook genre requirements for different age groups are projected to be different, resulting in multiple prospects for the audiobook market.

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the market growth in a positive sense due to government-imposed lockdowns at the global level to curb the spread of the virus. This resulted in an emerging demand for audiobooks as individuals started looking for new entertaining methods while they stayed at home.

One of the most important aspects influencing the market growth is the narrator's voice and pronunciation. While good narration increases the demand for recordings, a lousy narrative that lacks correct breath and pitch control, weak characterization, and unsuitable articulation can cause the listener to lose interest.

The author records the content for the published listening book versions, or the publishers engage voiceover artists to read the content fluently. To capture a target audience with flawless narrations, corporations place a high value on picking narrators that aren't mumblers, droners, teeth whistlers, and professional sound engineers.

Genre Insights

The non-fiction audiobook segment is expected to expand at the fastest CAGR of 27.7% from 2022 to 2030. This is owing to the extensive deployment of audiobooks by parents as educational material for their kids to offer screen-free time. The genre segment is divided into fiction and non-fiction audiobooks. The non-fiction genre includes academic textbooks, travel guides, self-help books, biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, and others. Non-fiction audiobooks are often availed by scientists, philosophists, students, and individuals looking to gain knowledge by listening to an audiobook.

The fiction audiobooks segment accounted for the largest revenue share of around 65.0% in 2021 and is expected to dominate the market in the forecast period. Science and mystery have emerged as the most popular genres among the target demographics within the fiction category. One of the most important criteria affecting an audiobook's popularity is its average length.

The average length of a normal audio collection is between seven and nine hours, depending on the genre. While science fiction and fantasy literature manage to be lengthier, comedy and humor books are usually shorter. The primary participants face a difficult sell because casual audio listeners choose shorter period content. To circumvent this, major corporations are releasing audiobook boxsets with five to six editions in order to keep their target consumers interested.

Preferred Device Insights

The smartphones segment registered the largest revenue share of around 45.0% in 2021 and is anticipated to dominate the market during the forecast period. The ability to access recorded book versions while doing another course of work and the convenience of downloading audio box sets are expected to drive this segment. In terms of preferred devices, the audiobook market is divided into smartphones, laptops and tablets, personal digital assistants or voice-enabled assistants, and other devices.

The others segment is anticipated to witness modest growth over the next eight years. This segment includes portable MP3 players, CDs, and Bluetooth-connected speakers. The increase in this segment is expected to be witnessed due to the preference of many libraries, associations, educational institutions, and others to keep CDs as the collection of their audible paperback content.

The personal digital assistants or voice-enabled speaker segment is anticipated to witness the fastest growth of around 30.0% during the projection period. As per The Consumer Technology Association, over 31.0% of households in the U.S. are equipped with at least one personal digital assistant. The association also revealed that the adoption rate of personal digital assistants in the region has doubled over the past two years.

The laptops and tablets segment is expected to observe significant growth from 2022 to 2030. This is attributed to the increased adoption of laptops and tablets by professionals for experiencing high-quality content.

Distribution Channel Insights

The one-time download segment in the audiobooks market registered the highest revenue share of over 54.0% in 2021. People fond of reading and listening prefer to buy a single high-quality audiobook. Many companies offer discounts and special price packages to entice users to purchase recorded content outright. For example, Google sells a few of its audiobook titles outright with a 30-50% discount and a Family Library feature that allows family members to be included in the bundle. The growth of the segment can be attributed to a rise in customer demand for single high-quality audiobooks.

The subscription-based segment is anticipated to account for the fastest CAGR of around 28.0% during the forecast period. This is attributed to the advent of Streaming-Books-On-Demand (SBOD) models. The accessibility to a wide range of content that users receive while subscribing to a package drives segmental growth.

The trend among key players to offer unlimited subscription packages to create a competitive advantage is significantly impacting the market growth. For instance, in October 2021, Audible Inc. launched Audible Plus, an unlimited subscription package, in India to enable access to over 15,000 Hindi and English titles, including the company's originals.

Target Audience Insights

The adults segment registered the largest revenue share of over 79.0% in 2021 and is expected to dominate the market over the next eight years. This is due to the wide range of audiobooks offered that includes brain stimulation and relaxation exercises. The emergence of car entertainment systems that allow users to access various audiobooks while on a drive or doing any other activity is propelling the market's growth.

Global audiobooks market share, by target audience, 2021 (%)

The trend among companies to launch audiobooks specific to a community or region to attract consumers and gain a competitive edge in the market is also driving the segment's growth. For instance, in July 2020, Storytel, an e-book and audiobook subscription service provider, merged with Kitab Sawti AB, an Arabic audiobook and podcast platform, to offer audiobooks and e-books specifically per the taste and preferences of Arab consumers.

The kids segment is anticipated to account for the fastest growth of around 29.0% from 2022 to 2030. This is owing to the increased adoption of audiobooks for educational purposes. Also, many audiobooks are being created for the entertainment purposes of kids. The various benefits of audiobooks for kids, such as sophisticated vocabulary, improved visualization, fostered narrative structure, and others, in developing a cognitive mind are expected to provide lucrative growth opportunities. Listening to such content is expected to bolster & improvise reading comprehension in kids.

Regional Insights

The North American region observed the highest revenue share of over 45.0% in 2021 and is anticipated to dominate the market during the forecast period, owing to the early and quick technological adoption to improve user experience. The presence of a significant number of key players providing audiobooks in the region is propelling the market growth. A large number of smartphone users in the region is another reason driving market expansion.

On the other hand, Asia Pacific is expected to observe significant growth during the forecast period. This is due to the availability of a wide range of audiobooks in various regional languages. Also, the adoption of audiobooks in schools both in English and regional languages to enhance student performance is propelling the market growth.

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is expected to account for the fastest growth of over 32.0% in the forecast period. This is attributed to the proliferation of online payments and the easy accessibility of portable and cellular devices in the region. The market in the region appears to be in its early stages, with a low penetration rate. Furthermore, global publishers are focused on hiring several narrators for full-cast recordings, upgrading audio media, and launching straight-to-audio releases to create a competitive edge over other players in the market.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The audiobooks industry is facing tremendous competition from new entrants. The key players in the market are offering new subscription-based packages to users to gain a competitive edge over other players. The global players continue to dominate the market, as their product portfolios have been updated to include a diverse range of content. Companies are also entering into mergers and acquisitions to strengthen their portfolios and offerings. For instance, in July 2020, Storytel acquired stakes in EARSELECT AB, a cloud-based platform provider for audiobook production, to strengthen its business.

In addition, as a result of technical advancements, key players in the market are modernizing their websites and app-based platforms to provide a more user-friendly experience to their audiences and expand their consumer base. For example, in July 2019, Audible announced that they were preparing to enhance their app with an Audible Captions feature that would utilize Machine Learning (ML) to transcribe audiobooks for listeners, and users will be able to read while listening to the narration. Some of the prominent players operating in the global audiobooks market are:

  • Amazon.com, Inc.

  • Apple Inc.

  • Audible, Inc

  • Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Inc.

  • Downpour

  • Google LLC


  • Rakuten Group, Inc.

  • Storytel

  • W.F.Howes Ltd.

Audiobooks Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2022

USD 5,364.9 million

Revenue forecast in 2030

USD 35.05 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 26.4% from 2022 to 2030

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2018 - 2020

Forecast period

2022 - 2030

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2022 to 2030

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Genre, preferred device, distribution channel, target audience, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; MEA

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; U.K.; Nordic Countries; China; Australia; Japan; Brazil; Mexico

Key companies profiled

Amazon.com, Inc.; Apple Inc.; Audible, Inc; Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Inc.; Downpour; Google LLC; PLAYSTER (SOFTONIC INTERNATIONAL S.A.); Rakuten Group, Inc.; Storytel; W.F.Howes Ltd.

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent to up to 8 analyst working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2018 to 2030. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global audiobooks market report based on genre, preferred device, distribution channel, target audience, and region:

  • Genre Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • Fiction

    • Non-Fiction

  • Preferred Device Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • Smartphones

    • Laptops & Tablets

    • Personal Digital Assistants

    • Others

  • Distribution Channel Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • One-time Download

    • Subscription-based

  • Target Audience Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • Kids

    • Adults

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • U.K.

      • Nordic Countries

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Australia

      • Japan

    • Latin America

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

    • Middle East & Africa

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