Global Market Size of Audio Books/Voice Narration
The global audiobook market is $3.5 million and the total global voice over narration market is $4.4 billion. Of that $4.4 billion, 3.6% belongs to audiobook narration on a global level. The voice narration segment in the United States is worth $800 million, with 13% belonging to audiobook narration. My methodology and a'deep dive of my findings is below.
Methodology and calculations
Fortunately, there were pre-compiled reports for 2017 on both audiobooks and voice over narration. The global numbers were given for these markets, but for the audiobook voice over segment, the Voices.com report excludes the United States from its global findings. As such, it was not possible to identify the true global audiobook narration market size. However, we can determine what the global market size is without the United States:
Total Global voice over market size: $4,400,000,000
Global voice over market excluding the U.S.: $3,600,000,000
Global audiobook narration market share excluding the U.S.: 3.6%
The U.S. market share of the voice over market can also be calculated at 18% ($800,000,000 / $4,400,000,000).
We can also pinpoint the U.S. audiobook narration market size because the Voices.com report gives us both the market size and the audiobook narration market share for the United States:
U.S. voice over market size: $800,000,000
U.S. audiobook narration market share: 13%
The global audiobook market size was precompiled by Good E-Reader at $3.5 billion and the U.S. market size was also given at $1.8 billion. This means that the United States has a 51% market share of the global audiobook market ($1,800,000,000 / $3,500,000,000).
According to the above reports and calculations, the following can be assumed:
1. The global market size for audiobooks is $3.5 billion.
2. The U.S. holds 51% of the market for audiobooks, which is worth $1.8 billion.
3. The global market size for voice over narration is $4.4 billion.
4. The U.S. holds 18% of the market for voice over narration, which is worth $800,000,000.
5. The global audiobook narration size excluding the United States is $129,600,000, which represents 3.6% of the global voice over market (excluding the U.S.).
6. The U.S. audiobook narration size is $104,000,000, which represents 13% of the total U.S. voice over market.
With the United States' audiobook market representing 51% of the global market, it appears that the United States is the region in which to develop and sell audiobooks. In fact, according to the Audio Publishers Association, 50,937 new audiobook titles were published in 2016, which represents a 43.1% growth over 2015. The market size of audiobook narration in the United States reflects the popularity of audiobooks in America, as its market size of $104,000,000 is just $26,000 less than the global audiobook narration size of $129,600,000.
The average growth rate of the audiobooks market in the United States is 31%, making it the "fastest-growing format in the book business today." Much of this growth is due to the convenience of "on-the-go listening, allowing consumers to listen to their favorite books in the car, on the commute to work, or while on a run." However, 28% of U.S. audiobook consumers also say they listen to audiobooks via their desktop or laptop, "suggesting that there is also a big demand for audiobooks in the home."
The ability to check out audiobooks from American libraries also appears to be fueling growth. In 2016, more than 55 million audiobooks "were borrowed from libraries and schools in the United States." Along with that, 57% of audiobook consumers say they consult their library for new audiobook titles before deciding to purchase one. When consumers do purchase an audiobook, 82.4% are purchased as digital downloads and 29% of those downloads are on smartphones.
Audiobook narration represents only a small fraction of the overall voice over market, at 3.6%, but in the United States, audiobook narration represents a larger percentage of the U.S. voice over market at 13%. In addition, the audiobook market size is $3.5 billion globally and the United States represents 51% of that market, with a size of $1.8 billion.