Audiobooks Stay White-Hot
The Audio Publishers Association reported double-digit revenue growth for an astonishing 10th consecutive year. 2021 audiobook sales saw an increase of 25% over 2020 – a year that was itself up 12% over the prior year. The genre leading the way: romance, with a 75% increase in revenues for 2021. No editorialization on such a figure will be provided by Market Update at this time.
The number of audio titles produced in 2021 was also up—6% over the title count in 2020—for a total of 74,000 titles released in audio.
More stats (because that’s what we do here):
Not sure how to feel about that last figure, as it could indicate a decrease in literacy. Perhaps it’s time to employ a centuries-old parenting mantra: “Do as I say, and not as I do.”
Bookstores Bounce Back
Continuing a welcome trend, bookstore sales continue to rise. Q1 of 2021 saw bookstore revenues up 16% over the prior year. But that number is down 8.5% from Q1 of pre-pandemic 2019. So, we aren’t quite there yet. But looking ahead, we already have April numbers, and our bookstore friends outperformed last April by 31%, helped by a late Easter. That big April puts bookstores 19.4% over 2021 for the first 4 months of this year.
Also important, as has been the trend for the last several quarters, the retail bookstore segment’s 16% jump continues to outpace overall retail, which saw only a 12.3% increase in Q1.
Weekly Numbers—June 2022
Here are the weekly results for June:
Week ended June 11, 2022: Down 5.3%
Week ended June 18, 2022: Down 4.8%
Week ended June 25, 2022: Down 9.4%
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