Audiobook Sales Rocket as We Try Harder to Block Out the World

By Gary Cutlack on at

Bloody people talking to us and telling us things and pointing out what we should've done are driving a huge increase in the sales of audiobooks, as the nation turns to the sounds of people reading books to drown out everything else.

Either that or Amazon is doing a better job of selling the things, as the sales of audio versions of books have apparently doubled over the last five years. Maybe they're easier to get on our phones now too?

These numbers come from the Nielsen UK Books & Consumers survey, which says audiobooks now account for five per cent of all consumer book buying spend in the UK, with audio sales growing by 12 per cent in value last year alone, despite the general trend seeing three per cent fewer books sold overall in 2017 than 2016. So books are either dying or growing, as they have been for the last 100 years or so.

And it could all be down to the rise in the popularity of the podcast, as London Book Fair's Jack Thomas explains: "...audiobooks are not eating into print or e-book share but bringing new consumers into the consumer book market. The rise in podcasts and the ease of listening on digital devices may have turned on a new generation to the joys of having a book on the go." [The Bookseller]