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Audiobook sales rise significantly in 2014 Print Email
Written by Taylor Berglund   
Monday, 27 July 2015 04:31 PM America/New_York

audiobook-listenerThe audiobook industry is continuing to expand in sales as well as the number of titles being published in the format, according to the annual sales survey from the Audio Publishers Association (APA).

APA estimates that 2014 audiobook sales totaled more than $1.47 billion, up 13.5 percent over 2013, based on information from responding publishers. Unit sales were also up 19.5 percent, nearly five times the increase of the overall book trade industry (4.2 percent).

Additionally, 1,032 more titles were published in audio than in the previous year, bringing the number of audiobooks published in 2014 up to 25,787. Sales of digital downloads continue to rise, showing an increase of 7.3 percent in dollars and a full 10 percent in units sold from the previous year.

APA believes the growth of the industry is largely due to the growing popularity of the digital download and the increasing awareness and profile for the audiobook format.

Adult titles continue to account for 87 percent of sales, though children’s and young adult (YA) titles are on the rise with a 3.7 percent increase in sales from 2013 to 2014. APA’s recent consumer behavior study revealed a strong demand for titles for younger listeners; 36 percent of respondents reported listening to children’s or YA audiobooks.

Fiction represented the vast majority of audiobooks sold at roughly 77.4 percent. In addition, 91 percent of audiobooks sold were unabridged.

The survey was conducted for APA in the spring by the independent research firm Management Practice.