U.S. Publishers Report Nearly $1 Billion in Sales as Strong Industry Growth Continues


NEW YORK, July 17, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- The Audio Publishers Association released the results from their annual sales survey, conducted by independent research firm Management Practice Inc., which revealed that the strong growth the audiobook industry has seen in recent years continues. Based on information from responding publishers, U.S. audiobook sales in 2018 totaled $940 million, up 24.5% from the previous year, with a corresponding 27.3% increase in units. This continues the seven-year trend of double-digit revenue growth in audiobooks year over year.

Digital usage continues to rise with 91.4% of audiobook revenues coming from this format. The most popular audiobook genres sold in the U.S. are General Fiction, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, and Science Fiction/Fantasy. However, Non-Fiction sales are close behind these top categories and represented 32.7% of unit sales in 2018, with General Non-Fiction, History/Biography/Memoir, and Self-Help posting the biggest numbers.

"The research confirms that audio publishing continues its upward trajectory. Seven consecutive years of double-digit growth is truly extraordinary," says Chris Lynch, Co-Chair of the APA's Research Committee and President & Publisher, Simon & Schuster Audio. "More audiobooks are being produced and more people are listening than ever."

Additional Key Findings

  • 44,685 individual audiobook titles were produced, up 5.8% from the prior year.**
  • In 2018 audiobooks for adults made up 91.2% of revenue, roughly unchanged from prior years. Sales of Adult and Young Adult titles each increased double digits for both dollars and units, while titles targeted at Children grew more moderately.
  • The number of "Audio First" publications was tracked again in this year's report. Revenue grew 11.2%, and units grew by 37.7%.

The APA changed reporting of market size this year from estimated consumer dollars to responding publisher receipts to align more closely with other book industry statistic reports.

2017 title output was revised downward from numbers previously reported.

How the APA Sales Survey Was Conducted
This survey was conducted by Management Practice Inc. in the spring of 2019 on behalf of the Audio Publishers Association. The purpose of the survey was to gather industry sales data, including gross sales, sales by various formats, and channel discounts. This is a national survey of Audio Publishers Association members who publish audiobooks. Twenty publishers provided data, including Audible Inc., Hachette Audio, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster.

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. The 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. Please visit http://www.audiopub.org for more information.

About Management Practice Inc.
Management Practice Inc. (MPI) is a management consultancy and data provider, helping businesses and institutions with their decision-making needs. MPI has provided specialized market and analytical expertise to the publishing industry for over 35 years. MPI acts as a trusted third party, aggregating and managing confidential/sensitive information from public and private sources.


SOURCE Audio Publishers Association

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