- Amazon’s Audible has a U.S. market share in the audiobook publishing category of 63.4% as of 2022.
- U.S. Audiobook publishing generated $1.88 billion as of 2021.
- Around $1.19 billion of this figure was generated by Audible sales, based on market share.
- Audible’s revenue makes up 4.2% of Amazon’s book publishing revenue.
- The Audible platform produces 10,000 titles a year.
- Audible’s market share has increased by 54.63% since 2018.
- Audible has also almost doubled their sales revenue during the same time frame.
- In 2018, Audible accounted for $385.81 million in U.S. audiobook sales.
- This represents 41% of the U.S. audiobook market share for the year.
- In a 2021 survey, 49% of experts preferred to use Audible as their audiobook provider.
- Audible was almost 8 times more popular amongst experts than iBooks or Scribd.
- In 2021, Audible launched a subscription package in India to enable access to over 15,000 Hindi and English titles.
Audiobook publishing on Audible
- On January 31, 2008, Amazon announced that they would be purchasing Audible for around $300 million.
- Audible produces 10,000 titles a year.
- Audible is currently the largest retailer of audiobooks in the world.
- It is also the largest audiobook producer and retailer in the U.S.
- Due to its large catalog of audiobooks, it is also one of the largest employers of voice-actors in the city of New York.
- Audible includes more than 200,000 audio products from a wide range of publishers.
- Certain smart-home devices will only play audiobooks from Amazon/Audible.
- Other audiobook platforms are not able to function with the same levels of compatibility.
- This helps to boost Amazon’s success as a market leader.
Cost of publishing on Audible
Authors who decide to publish an audiobook through Audible can expect the following expenses:
- $200 per completed hour of the audiobook for the narrator.
- For the average audiobook, which is around 10 hours long, authors can expect to invest at least $2,000 to cover the narrator’s expenses.
- Assuming the $20 retail price for the average audiobook, authors who choose the exclusive deal with Audible would need to sell at least 250 copies of their audiobooks to cover the narrator’s production costs.
- For authors who don’t opt in for the exclusive deal, the break-even point is after 400 copies are sold.
Audible royalties controversy
Some independent researchers claim that the actual royalties that Audible pays to authors and narrators are significantly lower than advertised. Depending on the contract, authors who publish through Audible, according to Audiblegate, can expect to earn:
- 21% royalties for exclusive deals instead of advertised 40%.
- 13% royalties for non-exclusive deals instead of 25%.
If the authors choose to share royalties with the narrators, according to Audiblegate, they can expect:
- 10% royalties instead of the advertised 20% for exclusive deals.
- 7% royalties instead of 12.5% for non-exclusive deals.
These claims, assuming correct, would mean that the author who signs a deal to publish on Audible, in order to break even for the 10-hour audiobook, would need to:
- Sell at least 477 copies of their audiobook if they’ve signed an exclusive deal.
- Sell at least 770 copies of their audiobook if they haven’t signed an exclusive deal.
*These estimates are based on the average retail price of $20 and $200 per hour costs of the narrator’s services.
What is Audible?
- Audible is an audiobook-producing company that is owned by Amazon.
- It is the largest audiobook retailer in the world.
What are Audible credits?
- Audible credits enable users to purchase any available audiobook, regardless of price.
- Subscribers to Audible Premium Plus will receive credits periodically due to their membership status.
Do Audible audiobooks expire?
- Audible audiobooks do not expire. Once purchased, they are available to keep and download across multiple devices.
- If your membership has come to an end, purchased titles will still be yours to listen to.
Can Amazon audiobooks be shared?
- You can share your Amazon and Audible books with other members of your household by utilizing family library sharing.
- Additionally, for each book owned within your Audible library, you are able to share it with a friend. This can be sent free of charge from within the app.
How can you listen to Audible audiobooks?
- It is possible to listen to Audible audiobooks on most devices, such as phones, tablets, computers and smart speakers.
- Once logged into your account, the Audible audiobook app is able to function through your chosen device.