Consumers embrace audio for reading on the go


Convenience is key for audiobook listeners as the format becomes a ready alternative to print, according to Kantar. 

The survey by Kantar, commissioned by the PA, has investigated the reading habits of UK book buyers.

These findings have been released for Love Audio Week, the third annual celebration of audiobooks, which takes place from 10th to 16th June 2019.

According to the survey, the main barrier to reading is lack of time. Audiobooks offer a solution for these consumers by allowing them to combine reading with other activities.

The majority (54%) of audiobook buyers listen to them for their convenience, while 41% said they choose the format because it allows them to consume books when reading print isn’t possible.

27% of audiobook consumers listen to audiobooks at least once a week while 22% said they were able to retain information better if they listened to an audiobook.

72% of those surveyed said they had bought a book (in any format) in the last year, confirming that the UK is a nation of book buyers. The prevalence of audio, however, proves that consumers are increasingly exploring different formats for reading to suit their lifestyle.

Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association, said: “The audiobook sector continues to go from strength to strength as consumers look for new and exciting ways to incorporate books and stories into their everyday lives. 

“Audiobooks are an essential companion for the everyday reader who is busy and on-the-go, like many of us so often are. They are a vital part of the publishing eco-system and allow consumers to tailor reading to suit their busy lives.

“This is why it is imperative that the Government removes VAT on digital reading products like audiobooks and ebooks. The publishing industry is committed to pursuing accessibility through digital innovation and this tax serves as a critical obstacle to this goal.”

Dominic Gribben, Chair of the Publishers Association’s Audio Publishers Group and audio editorial director at Hodder Book Group, said: “It is an exciting time for our sector and audio publishers across the country are more than up for the challenge, matching record-breaking growth with hard work and innovation.”