In honor of last month being National Audiobook Month it is worth highlighting just how popular audiobooks have become and the current top business titles that listeners are enjoying (based on sales and downloads).
Eight Year Trend of Double Digit Growth
According to the Audio Publishers Association’s annual sales survey, audiobook sales in the US in 2019 totaled 1.2 billion dollars, up 16% from the previous year, with a corresponding increase in units. It is astounding that this continues an eight-year trend of double-digit revenue growth! Michael Kozlowski, in his article “Audiobook Trends and Statistics for 2020,” dated June 20, 2020 states: “Ebooks only made $983 million, so for the first time ever, US audiobook sales have eclipsed ebook sales.”
Here are selected nuggets (mostly directed quoted) from the Audio Publisher Association survey:
- The most popular audiobook genre continues to be Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense.
- Audiobook consumers place a high priority on quality of narration. Non-fiction and fiction listeners alike prefer a professional voice actor to the author as a narrator.
- For the third year in a row, more than 50% of audiobook listeners say they are making “new” time to listen to audiobooks and consuming more books.
- The car remains the #1 overall place for listening, but the home remains the place where people listen most often.
- 60% of respondents own a smart speaker, and 46% of smart speaker owners have used it to listen to an audiobook (up from 31% in 2019).
Popular Business Audio Titles as of June 30, 2020
Amazon/Audible Current Best Sellers in Business & Career (top five):
#1 Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, by James Clear
#2 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, by Stephen R. Covey
#3 Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It, by Chris Voss
#4 Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, by Jocko Willink, Leif Babin, et al.
#5 Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers, by Tim Ferris
Most Popular Business Audiobooks (top five most popular sorted) – Overdrive/Libby (downloadable service available via your local public library)
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, by James Clear
- Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts, by Brene Brown
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg
- Girl Stop Apologizing A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals, by Rachel Hollis
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brene Brown
iTunes Top Audio Books
#7 The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload, by Daniel J. Levitin
#10 Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, by Jocko Willink, Leif Babin, et al.
The New York Times Best Sellers Audio Nonfiction list:
# 10 Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, by Jocko Willink, Leif Babin, et al.