Audiobook Sales Statistics

Audiobook Sales Statistics

Audiobooks have an increasing part in the size and growth of the book market. To better understand audiobooks’ role in the industry, we researched, analyzed, and compiled audiobook sales statistics.

  • Globally, audiobook revenue is projected to be worth over $5.38 billion as of 2022.
  • Revenue from audiobooks is expected to grow 26.4% every year from 2022 to 2030 and reach $35.05 billion in 2030.
  • This makes audiobooks the fastest-growing book format in the world by a wide margin.

US Audiobook sales statistics

  • Audiobook revenue in the United States was $1.81 billion in 2021, a 3.43% increase compared to the previous year.
  • This was the slowest growth in audiobook sales revenue in the US since 2015 and the first time that the year-overo-year growth was not in double digits.
  • Over the last 5 years, audiobook revenue in the United States has increased by 53.39%, making it the fastest-growing book format in the US.
  • The US is the world’s largest market for audiobooks, estimated to be worth up to $1.87 billion in 2021.
  • The US audiobook market is expected to continue growing at a rate of 20% – 25% per year over the next 7 years.
  • As of March 2022, 9% of all book sales in the United States are attributed to audiobook format.
YearAudiobook revenue by year ($ billion)Change
  • Fiction audiobooks are the biggest category in this format, accounting for over 65% of all audiobook sales.
  • However, nonfiction is expected to show a higher growth rate over the next 7 years, growing 27.5% annually, on average.
  • In terms of genre, science-fiction and mystery are the most popular genres of audiobooks, while romance shows the biggest growth, growing by 75% in sales over the last year.
  • 2019 marked the first time audiobooks surpassed ebooks’ sales figures, generating 22.17% more revenue than ebooks.
  • Audiobooks accounted for 1/6th of all books sold in 2020.
  • Audiobook listeners bought 19% more books in 2020 than in 2019, going from 6.8 to 8.1 per year.

The average Audible narrator reads 155 words per minute.

Audiobook publishing statistics

  • Over 74,000 audiobooks were published in the United States in 2021, a 4.23% increase over the 2020 record.
  • Audiobooks are the fastest-growing book format in the United States in terms of production volume, in addition to revenue and sales growth.
  • Production of audiobooks has constantly been growing over the last 5 years.
  • In fact, only 2 out of the last 15 years recorded negative growth of produced audiobooks (2009 and 2017).
  • The number of audiobooks produced in a year increased over 10 times since 2011 and over 24 times since 2007.
YearNumber of audiobooks publishedChange

Audiobook sales statistics by region

  • The European audiobook market is estimated to be worth approximately $850 million as of 2020.
  • Growing at a rate of 18.61% each year, the European market is expected to grow by $1.23 billion by 2025 to a total of $2.08 billion.
  • 32% of the European audiobook market growth is attributed to the German market.
  • The UK audiobook market was worth $94.8 million in 2019, having grown 43% since 2018.
  • As of 2020, the four Nordic countries were estimated to be worth $100 million in 2020 and are identified as one of the largest markets for growth behind the US, China, and the UK. 
  • China is the 2nd largest audiobook market based on revenue, behind the US.
  • As of 2020, over 569 million Chinese citizens listen to audiobooks, jumping from 218 in 2016.
  • In 2019 5% of book purchases in Canada were audiobooks, up 3.6% from 2018.

Audiobook sales revenue by format

When breaking down the percentage of revenue by audiobook format based upon their format, it’s clear that digital streaming has increasingly dominated the market since 2014. 

  • The CD format has fallen 73.10% from 2014 to 2018
  • The digital format accounts for 91.4% of the market as of 2018, increasing 32.27% since 2014
Other (pre-loaded devices, MP3-CD, apps, books,s and CD sets)2.1%1.4%1.4%1.2%0.8%

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