Audiobook sales income for the first six months of 2021 is up 71% on the same period in 2019. Comparatively consumer ebook sales income is up 10% in the same timeframe with consumer print up 6%.
While people have embraced books in all formats during the Covid pandemic, audiobooks have enjoyed a particular rise in popularity.
Other key stats from the January to June 2021 data include:
- Overall books sales income (across consumer, education and academic) is up 4% since the same period in 2019.
- Consumer books sales income is up 10% since the same period in 2019.
- Fiction up 28% since the same period in 2019.
- Children’s books up 8% since the same period in 2019 with particular rises in export (14%) and digital (26%).
- Consumer non-fiction stays level with the first six months of 2019 but digital consumer non-fiction is up 30%.
Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association, said:
“It’s fantastic to see that books have offered people entertainment and comfort in this difficult period of time. UK publishers have continued to release books that engage readers across the UK and around the world.
“The steep rise of audiobooks is a truly interesting development as it may suggest that new demographics are embracing this format. It does beg the question why, unlike print and ebooks, booklovers are still required to pay VAT on audiobooks and this is something we continue to raise with the government.”