More Than 55 Million Americans Listen to Audiobooks Each Year

In the fast-growing sphere of audio options – which includes radio, streaming brands like Spotify and Pandora, podcasts, and satellite radio – a key component can’t be overlooked – the audiobook.

According to new information from Edison Research, more than 40% of Americans ages 18 and older have ever listened to an audiobook, and in the last year fully 22% of Americans have enjoyed one (approximately 55 million persons). The research was unveiled recently at the Audio Publishers Association event in New York.

APA Infographic

“When people talk about digital audio – audiobooks tend not to get their due,” says Edison VP Tom Webster, “but our research shows that audiobooks are increasingly being consumed in digital formats as well. While some of the market comes from renting CDs from a library, the new growth is coming from consumption on digital devices.”

In addition, the research shows that audiobooks are being consumed among younger adults in surprising numbers, aided by the digital device revolution. “After all,” says Webster, “what’s the difference between an audiobook and an especially long podcast? Our research shows audiobooks are part of the same renaissance in audio consumption.”

Among those who have listened to an audiobook in the last year, the average consumption was five audiobooks per year.

Edison Research will be releasing many more items about audiobooks and their usage in the weeks to come. The information comes from a nationally representative survey of Americans age 18 and older performed in early 2015.

About Edison Research:

Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, NPR, Oracle, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, The Gates Foundation, and Univision. Edison Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Bonneville, Emmis, Entercom, CBS Radio and Radio One. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Edison Research is the sole provider of election exit poll data for the National Election Pool comprised of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue.

About The Audio Publishers Association:

Formed in 1987, the Audio Publishers Association (APA) is a not-for-profit trade association that advocates the common, collective business interests of audio publishers. The APA consists of audio publishing companies and allied suppliers, distributors, and retailers of spoken word products and allied fields related to the production, distribution and sale of audiobooks. The APA serves as a networking, educational and information forum for its members; delivers programs, services and awards that serve the common business interests for its members; and promotes policies and activities that accelerate audiobook awareness and industry growth. APA and its members work to bring all audio publishers together to create increased public awareness for the audiobook industry through joint publicity efforts, national consumer surveys, trade show exhibits, an association newsletter and the annual APA conference, APAC.

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