The “Voice Inside Your Head” – The Allure of the Audiobook

By Allison West

Last summer I wrote that I’m a “real book” reader.  And I still am.


Ok, I’ll confess. I started reading on a tablet last year. But only because my husband got tired of watching me squint my way through a book on my smartphone and bought me one.

It’s just so darn easy. As soon as I’m done with one book, I can instantly shop and download my next one.

I haven’t caught the audiobook bug yet, but I’m in the minority.  Most Americans love listening to audiobooks. As a matter of fact, Forbes reports that for the first time, 50% of Americans over age 12 have listened to one.

Are audiobooks better than reading?

The United States is the largest market in the world for audio format books, with $2.5 billion in sales registered in 2017. That represents a whopping $400 million increase in revenues from the year before. (source: Audiobook Publishers Association and Edison Research)

Is listening to a book “cheating”? Are “real” books better? Who’s to say? It’s all about what you prefer. I would argue that anything that brings more people together with great books is a good thing, whether they read or listen.

An industry argument of whether audiobooks have actually grown the market or just shifted it to a new group continues. Audiobooks bring great stories to life in situations where it would have been physically impossible to read before. Smart phones and speakers make it easier than ever to listen whenever and wherever we can, such as when we’re driving, doing chores or exercising.

Audiobook trends

Audiobooks have become more main stream in recent years. There was such an upswing in 2018 that The New York Times launched a monthly audiobook bestseller list.

The APA (Audiobook Publishers Association) annual consumer research study also reveals that 40% of audiobook listeners agree that audiobooks help them get through more books, and 56% of those who both listen to and read books agree that audiobooks are the preferred format to get through books quickly.

  • Sales of audiobooks are up from years past, with more than 40% of Americans having listened to at least one title.
  • Audiobook listeners read or listened to an average of 15 books in the last year, and 57% of listeners agreed or strongly agreed that audiobooks help you finish more books.
  • Demographically, 55 percent of respondents say they’re younger than 45, and 51 percent of frequent listeners say they’re between 18 and 44 years old.

Sssshhhh! Listening in libraries

Libraries remain major access channels for audiobooks and important drivers of audiobook discovery.

  • 52% of people said borrowing from a library/library website was important or very important for discovering new audiobooks.
  • 43% of listeners said they downloaded an audiobook from a library and 14% said that most often use the library for their digital listening.

The growing audiobooks market

Each year there are 25,000 more new audio editions that are available for purchase.  And we’re listening more in our cars -74% – than in our home – 68%. This switch up could be due to so many cars coming equipped with in-dash information and entertainment systems that can play them.

The associations’ new data also indicates that the use of Smart speakers has also contributed to people making more time to listen to audiobooks.

Here are some other interesting highlights of the study:

  • Mystery/Thriller/Suspense remains the top genre for audiobook consumers, followed by History/Biography/Memoirs and Humor.
  • Over half (55%) of audiobook listeners have also listened to a podcast in the last month, continuing the strong historical association between podcast listeners and audiobook listeners.
  • Audiobook consumers listened to an average of 6.8 audiobooks in the last twelve months, up from 6.5 in the previous survey.
  • 24 percent of consumers have listened to 10 or more in one year.


Industry options for audiobook cases

With the list of audiobooks growing monthly, it’s important that industry manufacturers and suppliers don’t get caught short with their inventory of CD cases.

If you’re in the market for audiobook cases, check out Univenture’s CD/DVD wallets with Safety-sleeve pages. These wallets protect CDs inside a fully enclosed case that securely holds 10, 20 or 30 discs.

These durable, compact ring binders for audiobooks are designed for shelf storage and portability, so they’re great for schools, libraries and audiobook publishers.


Here’s how Univenture CD cases work:

  • Two poly rings inside the enclosed case make it easy to switch or add pages.
  • CDs are secured inside protective Safety-sleeve pockets with lift-up flaps that hold discs securely in place. As a packaging system, Safety-sleeves are compact and much less bulky, so more discs can be stored in less space and shipped at lower costs.
  • Add a pocket inside for additional printed literature or documentation. Graphics instantly add professionalism to your disc’s packaging.
  • A full wrap overlay on the case let you easily customize or label the contents with a cover insert.

More perks with Univenture CD Wallets

You get options on CD wallets with Univenture. In addition to a protective fully-enclosed case and Safety-sleeve sleeves, spot or full color graphics can be printed using digital, Flexo, Litho or screen printing formats. You also have choices with materials, size, and hole spacing.

About Univenture

Univenture can help provide inspiration on how to make your audio books a stand-out on retail shelves or in a library.

With a range of custom decoration options including cost-effective printed cover inserts and inexpensive full-color digital printing, Univenture offers endless branding possibilities and options at every budget and scale.

Happy customers include audio book publishers, book publishers, educational publishers, printers and libraries. Contact Univenture at 1-877-831-9243 to get started today.