Traditional Publishing

UK audiobook downloads up 17% last year, Publishers Association data shows – Wednesday May 8, 2024

The number of UK audiobook downloads increased by 17% between 2022 and 2023, according to new data from the Publishers Association (PA).

Revenue from audiobooks rose 24% across the same period to £206m in 2023, reflecting an increase in the number of audiobook downloads from 50m to 59m, the trade body said.

Over five years, UK audiobook revenue has more than doubled. “It’s fair to say that audio is now a really serious part of the publishing portfolio,” said the PA’s chief executive, Dan Conway. “Audiobooks have established themselves as a major route to market for consumers of books in this country”.

These figures reflect the way the audiobook market has evolved. Spotify made audiobooks available to its Premium subscribers in October, while Audible has expanded from single-narrator audiobooks to those with large, starry casts and sound effects. Sam Mendes-produced audiobooks of David Copperfield and Oliver Twist featuring Ncuti Gatwa, Helena Bonham Carter and Nicola Coughlan were released in the past two years, and there are plans to release new audiobooks of all seven Harry Potter titles, voiced by a cast of more than 100 performers.

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