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Audiobooks continue to rise

2022 has been the 10th straight year that the Audio Publishers Association’s annual sales survey has noted a double-digit increase in audiobook sales. The APA reported revenue gains of 25% in 2021 bringing the estimated US industry total to $1.6 billion in sales.

The number of audiobook titles published in 2021 also went up to approximately 74,000 titles, reporting a 6% increase over 2020’s output.

Most Popular Genres

Reports showed the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres were the most popular categories, with Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense coming closely second. Following the top two genres comes the Romance category which also experienced the largest sales boost in the year with a 75% jump in revenues. Self Help audiobooks follow with a 34% rise.

More Servey Results

Along with the APA sales survey, the APA’s Consumer Survey Conducted by Edison Research (polling Americans 18 and older) showed that a good 41% of listeners subscribed to at least one audiobook service, which is an increase from 38% reported in 2020.

The percentage of Americans 18+ who have ever listened to an audiobook was 45%, up from 44% in 2020.

54% of audiobook listeners are under the age of 45.

70% of consumers agree audiobooks are a good choice for relaxing.

61% of parents say their children listen to audiobooks, compared to the 35% measured in 2020. This increase is almost certainly due to pandemic-related school disruptions. Listeners continue to prefer professional narration over author-read books.

Key corresponding data from Edison Research's Share of Ear report, which tracks daily listening habits for Americans 13+.

Overall share of time spent listening to audiobooks has grown 106% since 2017.

Daily audiobook listeners spend more time listening to books than any other form of audio (radio, podcasts, etc.).

Daily reach of audiobook consumption has grown 94% since 2017.

Daily audiobook listeners spend 2+ hours more per day listening to audio content than the general population (6:34 vs 4:11).

Audiobooks continue to rise

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