US publishers' audio sales up 29% this year

US publishers' audio sales up 29% this year

Downloaded audio revenues in the US rose 29% in the first four months of this year by comparison to the same period in 2016, with April in particular surging to a 34% year-on-year rise, according to the latest figures from the Association of American Publishers (AAP).

Revenue totals for audio downloads soared from $77m for the first four months of 2016 to $100m for the same time period this year.

Overall revenues for book publishers increased to $3bn for the first four months of this year, up 4% on the same period in 2016. Much of this growth in the AAP's StatShot Monthly report was attributed to increased revenue in higher education course materials with adult books, religious presses and professional books all seeing revenue increases as well.

Higher education publishers grew for the first four months of the year, up 28% compared to the first four months of 2016.

However children’s and YA saw a decline of 3% year-on-year, down from $513m for the period January to April 2016 to $495m for the same four months in 2017.

Revenue for print books was described as "flat", at $2bn, up $6m (0.3%) compared to the first four months of 2016.

There was strong growth in hardback books (up 8% from $625m to $679m) and a drop of 6% in paperback and mass market, from $810m to $755m.

The report tracks 1,200 publishers’ net revenue from all distribution channels (as opposed to retailer or consumer sales figures) across trade, education, higher education, university presses and professional markets.