The global audiobooks market size is anticipated to reach USD 35.04 billion by 2030 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 26.3% from 2023 to 2030, according to the latest report by Grand View Research, Inc. Audiobooks are voice-recorded files of books by the authors themselves or other vocal narrators. Audiobooks are beneficial to people who have reading disabilities, viewing disabilities, like doing multiple tasks at a time, or even for non-English speakers.
The audiobooks industry has grown tremendously in recent years due to the rise in demand for audiobooks and the growing presence of audiobook subscription start-ups. Audiobooks are always delivered and attended digitally on a tablet, mobile, or computer, ensuring copyright protection and reducing distribution costs. The integration of play, pause, forward, and rewind features in audiobooks has enabled users to conveniently attend their books, making them more appealing than their hardcover counterparts.
According to an annual survey conducted by Audio Publishers Association (APA), a not-for-profit trade association in the U.S., in 2021, 56% of audiobook listeners were below the age of 45, which was an increase of 52% from 2020. The survey also indicated that around 55% of the users listened to audiobooks mostly at home, followed by 30% of users listening to audiobooks in cars. According to the survey, over 71,000 audiobooks were published in 2020, with youngsters under the age of 17 listening to audiobooks increasing from 35% to 49%.
The audiobook market gained more relevance and traction due to the COVID-19 pandemic owing to easy accessibility and convenience. The global lockdown and social distancing norms have enabled libraries and publication houses to increase their business for audiobooks and e-books. Also, many associations collaborated with audiobook and e-book vendors to provide digital books to the libraries for easy accessibility. For instance, in May 2021, The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) entered into an agreement with Amazon Inc., a trade publisher of nonfiction, fiction, and children's books, to make all Amazon Publishing's e-digital audiobooks and e-books available to libraries.
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In 2022, fiction genre remained as the most popular genre of audiobooks, accounting for around 65% of the total revenue share
The subscription model-based services are predicted to outperform the one-time download services as paying per audiobook download is more expensive
The kid’s audiobook segment is expected to experience the fastest expansion with a CAGR of 28.9% over the forecasted period. This exponential expansion is due to the benefits of audiobooks for kids including sensory and interactive learning
The U.S. registered the largest revenue share in 2022 for the audiobooks market due to the growing compatibility on mobile devices and listening convenience for consumers
Grand View Research has segmented the audiobooks market on the basis of genre, preferred device, distribution channel, target audience, and region:
Audiobooks Genre Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)
Audiobooks Preferred Device Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)
Laptops & Tablets
Personal Digital Assistants
Audiobooks Distribution Channel Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)
Audiobooks Target Audience Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)
Audiobooks Region Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)
Middle East & Africa
List of Key Players in the Audiobooks Market
Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Inc.
PLAYSTER (SOFTONIC INTERNATIONAL S.A.)
Rakuten Group, Inc.
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