Audiobooks are the current darling of today’s publishing industry. This paper will examine the trends shaping today’s audiobook market as well as look at what the future may hold for the industry in the era of increasing audio proliferation. In considering new sales and distribution models, this paper looks to illuminate the different models currently available and how they are supporting and shaping the audiobook market’s growth.
The paper is written in partnership with Zebralution, which was founded in 2004 as the first digital distributor for independent music labels in Europe and entered the audiobook market in 2010. Zebralution has gathered interesting data regarding consumer behaviors, which can be used to understand what is driving market growth. Since there is no international standard in data collection and some online retailers withhold sales data as proprietary information, the data provided by Zebralution gives a useful but admittedly partial snapshot at one segment of the consumer market, hoping that publishers and further interested parties will be able to use this information as guidance for their future publishing plans.