Audiobook popularity soars as sales increase 13 per cent

Jessica Clark
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Young men are the biggest consumers of audiobooks (Source: Getty)

The popularity of audiobooks has continued to soar as sales of the format grew 13 per cent last year.

Sales of audiobooks have increased 87 per cent since 2014, according to research by Nielsen Book, and they now account for five per cent of all book purchases after doubling their share of fiction sales.

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A total of 40 per cent of audio sales are through subscription models, and young men are the biggest audio consumers.

London Book Fair director Jacks Thomas said: “There are so many reasons to be excited about the book market in the UK right now.

“Audio has been one of the major success stories in publishing over the past five years, and its incredible growth clearly shows no sign of abating.

“Meanwhile, the growth in popularity of non-fiction in both the adults’ and children’s markets highlights the vital role books play as a destination for deeper understanding of the world today.”

Adult non-fiction now accounts for 40 per cent of book sales driven by the popularity of politics and government titles which have seen a 170 per cent increase.

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Biography and autobiography sales were up 15 per cent year-on-year, boosted by Becoming by Michele Obama and This is Going to Hurt by former NHS doctor Adam Kay.

Children’s non-fiction sales also grew by 30 per cent last year due to the success of feminist and inspiring books, stories aimed at helping children boost confidence such as You are Awesome by Matthew Syed and poetry and narrative information books.