Audiobooks Enable Greater Literature Consumption, Voices Survey Finds

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Voices, a voice-over marketplace provider, found that audiobooks are quickly growing in popularity, both as a preferred audio experience and as a literature format.

The study found that 67 percent of listeners say they read more in a year with audiobooks compared to text. However, respondents were equally divided on how they would prefer to experience literature: one-third of respondents said they prefer the audiobook experience, one-third said they prefer to read, and one-third said it depends on the book.

"The audiobook format allows us to experience stories, stay entertained, or educate ourselves while keeping our hands free, unlocking large blocks of time to consume books in a way that wouldn't otherwise be possible with a print book," said David Ciccarelli, CEO and founder of Voices. "Over the course of time, the flexibility and convenience this format allows means so much more information, knowledge, and entertainment can be shared with eager listeners."

Additional findings from the study include the following:

  • Audio allows us to embed literature in our daily routine: Half (50 percent) of audiobook listeners spend between one and four hours per week listening to audiobooks while one-third (33 percent) spend five to 10 hours per week listening to audiobooks. Among the use cases are while commuting or traveling (63 percent), completing household chores (54 percent), and while relaxing (44 percent).
  • Narrators can make or break the audiobook experience: Nearly 60 percent of listeners have ditched an audiobook part-way through the story because they didn't like the narrator, demonstrating that style, audio quality, and overall performance is a significant factor in how people enjoy media and entertainment.
  • Fiction genres reign as top choices for listeners: The most popular genres for the audiobook format are mystery and thriller (55 percent) and science fiction and fantasy (48 percent). Business and personal finance was the least popular genre, with just 21 percent of respondents saying they enjoy listening to this genre.
  • Listeners are split on AI-voice narration: Fifty-three percent of listeners would strongly prefer a human narrator, while 47 percent are fairly open or very open to listening to a digitally narrated audiobook. When breaking this down even further, only 13 percent of listeners are very open to AI-narration and expect an AI-narrated audiobook to provide a similar listening experience to human-narrated audiobooks.

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