APA reports continued strong audio sales

APA_logo_color__1437678240_43091The Audio Publishers Association (APA) released the results of its annual sales survey, conducted by the independent research firm Management Practice in the spring of 2015, which revealed that the audiobook industry is continuing to expand in sales as well as the number of titles being published in the format.

Based on information from responding publishers, the APA estimates that audiobook sales in 2014 totaled more than $1.47 billion, up 13.5 percent over the previous year. Additionally, 1,032 more titles were published on audio than in 2013, bringing the number of audiobooks published in 2014 up to 25,787.

The APA credits industry growth to the increasing popularity of the digital download format and the increasing awareness and profile of audiobooks in general. 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.

Year                            # of Audiobook Titles Published

2014                            25,787

2013                            24,755

2012                            16, 309

2011                            7,237

2010                            6,200

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

Fiction continues to represent the vast majority of audiobooks sold with roughly 77.4 percent of audios being fiction vs. 22.6 percent nonfiction. The unabridged format continues to dominate with 91 percent of audiobooks sold being in this format.

Stephanie Klose About Stephanie Klose

Stephanie Klose (sklose@mediasourceinc.com, @sklose on Twitter) is Media Editor, Library Journal.