At the inaugural Audio Day Parix meeting in Madrid in late February, Audiobook Publishers Association executive director Michele Cobb told attendees that Spanish-language audiobooks in the U.S. are on the rise. In 2023, U.S. publishers released a total of 600 new audiobook titles in Spanish, Cobb said, adding that approximately half of U.S. publishers have now invested in some form of Spanish-language content. What’s more, a new report released ahead of Audio Day Parix finds that the U.S. market for Spanish-language audiobooks is proving increasingly lucrative for overseas publishers.

“America and Latin America are driving growth in audio for Spanish-language publishers,” says Javier Celaya, founder of Dosdoce publishing consultancy, which created and hosted Audio Day Parix and published the report. “For Spanish publishers, the U.S. market now represents about 10% of their total digital sales, with some publishers seeing even higher percentages—especially those relying more on the credit unit sales models,” such as the model used by Audible (as opposed to a subscription streaming service, such as Storytel).

The data comes from the second edition of Dosdoce’s “Map of the Spanish Audio Industry.” According to the report, the industry is booming, with the number of companies producing, distributing, or providing services to create Spanish-language audio content growing to nearly 750, up from 423 at the end of 2023.

With more than 40% of Spanish-language audio companies based in Spain, the country remains the primary hub for the Spanish-language audio industry, fueled in part by an €8 million financial incentive package from the Spanish government. But Latin America also saw substantial growth in 2023, Celaya adds, and now accounts for 37% of companies in the sector. Meanwhile, the number of companies serving the Hispanic market in the United States grew by 11.3% in 2023, Celaya notes, accounting for nearly 16% of the total number of enterprises Dosdoce tracks. These include production companies, as well as new firms that provide marketing, hosting, distribution, or streaming services.

Celaya also says more U.S. companies are innovating in the type of content they produce. He cites Uphoria, a streaming service run by Televisa Univision, as an example of a U.S.-based audio service that was initially focused on radio and has since expanded to include podcasts and audiobook-like content in the form of serialized fiction based on popular telenovelas.

Of course, the most notable company to enter the audiobook market in 2023 is Spotify. Though it has yet to launch any service for Spanish-language audiobooks, one could be on horizon, Celaya says. “They are likely to wait until they can see how things work out for audiobooks in English first. If audiobook performance continues to exceed expectations, they may expand to other languages, with Spanish being a strong contender due to its global presence.”