Top Facts You Didn’t Know About Audiobooks market & Impact of COVID-19

Posted by Mrudula Karmarkar on January 4th, 2022

The global audiobooks market size is expected to reach USD 15.0 billion by 2027, expanding at an estimated CAGR of 24.4% from 2020 to 2027, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. Owing to the flexibility of the audiobooks to cater to the varied audiences, including non-English speaking, physically-abled, multi-taskers, and people who prefer reading over watching television, the market has gained enormous traction over recent years. Furthermore, the technological advancements in publishing industry, such as email distribution of manuscripts, digital editing and the use of smartphones or tablets instead of hard copy scripts, and reduction in distribution costs are some of the other driving factors for this market.

The versatility of audiobooks is anticipated to create opportunities as the target audience is able to listen to the content during commute times and while performing daily chores or along their hobbies. According to an annual survey conducted by Audio Publishers Association (APA) in 2018, 74.0% of people listen to paperback content in their cars during their travel time using in-dash or infotainment systems. Also, the survey determined that the proliferation of smart speakers or personal digital assistants thrives well for the market growth in future.

Furthermore, the emergence of digital transformation technologies is anticipated to likely harness innovations. For instance, key market participants are now incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) for recommending personalized results to their users based on their listening history. The other attributes offered by AI, such as automating narrations of recorded contents to upgrade the text-to-speech technologies and creating summaries of files with key takeaways, are likely to propel the market growth during the forecast period.

Furthermore, the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has led to stringent lockdowns in various countries where most of the people worldwide are maintaining social distancing. Shutting down public libraries and schools indefinitely to reduce community gatherings has majorly impacted the conventional print & publishing industry, thereby benefiting the audiobooks market. On account of the ‘stay-at-home’ orders issued by governments worldwide due to this pandemic, public and private libraries are opting for audio as well as video digital resources, including audiobooks and e-books to ensure the active engagement of their audiences.

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Audiobooks refer to the recordings that are being narrated by the authors or any other voiceover artists. The easy accessibility of these paperback copies by the physically-abled and non-English speaking groups are some of the key factors driving market growth. The evolution of books-on-tape over the past two decades has dramatically shaped the accessibility of the paperback material to a larger target audience with multiple listening mediums. Audiobooks were launched in 1932 by The American Foundation for the Blind for the visually impaired users. These were in the form of multiple 15 minutes recordings.

Audiobooks Market Report Highlights

  • In 2020, fiction genre accounted for over 65.0% of the total revenue share
  • The kids segment is anticipated to witness the fastest expansion with an expected CAGR of over 25.0% over the next seven years
  • U.S. and China accounted for the largest revenue share in 2020 and are anticipated to continue their dominance in the market from 2020 to 2027
  • The subscription-based model is expected to grow at a faster rate as compared to the one-time download model as the one-time tariff system is more expensive

These dominant players are facing aggressive competition by the new entrants. The regional players are offering subscription-based lower tariffs to the users as compared to the global participants. However, the global players still have an uphold on this market as they are upgraded with a wide range of contents in their product portfolio. To maintain a competitive edge, the industry participants are continuously engaged in tie-ups and mergers with authors and publishing houses to attain the copyrights of the most popular paperback materials. They are also emphasizing on tie-ups with upcoming authors to launch ‘straight-to-audio’ books to attract their target audiences.

Some of the key players operating in the audiobooks market are:

  • Audible, Inc.
  •, Inc.
  • RBmedia
  • Playster
  • Google, Inc.
  • Rakuten Inc.
  • iBook’s by Apple Inc.
  • Storytel

About Grand View Research

Grand View Research, Inc. is a U.S. based market research and consulting company, registered in the State of California and headquartered in San Francisco. The company provides syndicated research reports, customized research reports, and consulting services. To help clients make informed business decisions, we offer market intelligence studies ensuring relevant and fact-based research across a range of industries, from technology to chemicals, materials and healthcare.

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Mrudula Karmarkar

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Mrudula Karmarkar
Joined: March 30th, 2020
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