The audiobook market in the United States continues steadily growing, with revenue increasing by 9%, to $2 billion, in 2023, according to the Audio Publishers Association, which published data from its annual sales survey today. The sales survey, conducted by Toluna Harris Interactive, incorporates data from 27 publishers, including Audible, Hachette Audio, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster, among others.

In addition, the APA has released highlights from its 2024 consumer survey, carried out by Edison Research, which showed that 52% of U.S. adults, or nearly 149 million Americans, have listened to an audiobook. The survey also found that 38% of American adults listened to an audiobook in the last year, up from 35% reported in 2023.

The most avid audiobook listeners consumed an average of 6.8 titles in 2023, the survey found, marking an increase from 6.3 in the 2022. Among a broader survey group, which included those who had ever listened to an audiobook, the average number of audiobooks listened to last year was 4.8, up from 4.0 in the prior year.

The survey also highlighted the popularity of audiobooks among children, with 53% of audiobook listeners with children saying their kids also listen to audiobooks. A key benefit of audiobooks, said some 77% of these parents, is the break from screentime it gives their children.

Subscriptions to audiobook services among consumers continue to grow, the survey found, with 63% of those who listened in the last year currently subscribing to at least one service, up a tad from 62% in 2023. Additionally, 46% of current audiobook consumers reported borrowing a digital audiobook from a library in the last year.

Fiction remains the top category among audiobook consumers for the third consecutive year, accounting for 64% of sales revenue. The fastest-growing categories include history/biography/memoir, with 22% growth; health and fitness, with 20% growth; religious/faith-based titles, with 17% growth; and romance, with 14% growth.

Finally, piracy remains an concern for the industry: 47% of respondents who listened to an audiobook in the last year said they got an audiobook for free through YouTube or another file-sharing website.