While other areas of the publishing industry are shrinking, audiobooks are its fastest growing segment, enjoying $1.2 billion in annual sales, according to figures reported by the Audio Publishers Association (APA) in 2012. By comparison, annual audiobook sales in the late 1990s were just $480 million. It’s a niche that’s rapidly going mass-market.
Readers’ advisory resource NoveList will now offer audiobook recommendations through NoveList Plus. The new audiobook features include lists of recommended titles and listen-alike recommendations. Users can browse or search for audiobook information and will have search options by length of audio, format, and audio characteristics. Listeners will also be able to access audio samples and read reviews from trusted professional review sources.
Recorded Books, one of the industry leaders in the audiobook market and a major supplier of the audiobooks, ebooks, and other electronic content to libraries has been purchased by the private investment firm Wasserstein & Co., LP. The company was sold by Haights Cross Communications, which has owned it since 1999. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
OverDrive, one of the major vendors of audiobooks to libraries, has announced that it will be moving away from the WMA format and making audiobooks for the library market available solely as MP3s.
And the Grammy nominees are…
Audio publishers are moving way beyond their core audience to capture sales to both libraries and consumers. In June, Random House Audio Group launched an online/radio/print ad campaign that reinforces what librarians already know: you don’t have to be a commuter or road-tripper to listen. Working out? Knitting? Ironing? The campaign website, TryAudiobooks.com, even features a “personal audiobook assistant” that can match how long your project will take to titles of similar length. The ad campaign caught the attention of the New York Times.
The Audio Publishers Association (APA) has announced the finalists for the 2013 Audie Awards, which recognize excellence in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment. A selection of categories are below; the complete list can be found on the Audies site. Audiobook of the Year AMERICAN GROWN Michelle Obama Read by Michelle Obama, Jim Adams, Charlie Brandts, [...]
The audiobook industry continues to grow in near-equal measure in both the library and retail sectors, with the Audio Publishers Association (APA) ballparking sales at an all-time high of $1.2 billion. Libraries are in a real position to take advantage of the trend. Yet with diminished AV budgets, limited title and format availability, and a constant influx of competing downloadable and streaming offerings from the consumer realm, the prospect can be daunting. For libraries wanting to reap the benefits of increased awareness and discovery of their audio holdings, LJ spotlights some best practices in audiobook promotion, discusses some of the challenges inherent to the medium, and proposes new ways of thinking about audio that might even make it a catalyst for moving print.