The power of a question
When the subject of plastics comes up in a conversation, I can’t help but remember a few lines from the iconic 1967 coming-of-age film, The Graduate. Benjamin Braddock, the new college graduate, is getting some career advice from family friend, Mr. Maguire. He states, “One word – plastics. There is a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?”
I’m sure even Mr. Maguire couldn’t have imagined how advanced today’s plastics are. Or the extent to which they have infiltrated and improved our lives. Imagine the healthcare, food or retail industries without protective plastic packaging. It doesn’t really seem that long ago that Prell shampoo, in its original a glass bottle, perched in bathtub corners everywhere.
Just for fun – Remember this throwback?
Watch the original 1960s Prell TV ad here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6ikZTG6zzg
Plastics in the media industry
How could Mr. Maguire have known 51 years later it would be possible to buy music or a book on a CD?
Nowadays, if you can dream it, it can be manufactured. Creative shapes, sizes and configurations abound in today’s plastics marketplace. If you’re in the media producing and packaging industry, books on CDs in plastic cases now take up as much or more retail and library shelf space as do their “old school” competitors.
Change can be tough
Admittedly, I find it hard to purchase an audiobook. I love the feel and smell of a “real” book. I have on a single occasion listened to and audiobook during a long car trip – only because the reader was the author, David McCullough. I still cringe just a little when someone in my book club mentions listening to an audiobook or reading our monthly selection on their electronic device of choice.
Why the strong connection to a paper book? Allow me to take you back to my early days of reading, courtesy of the Bookmobile. My small hometown didn’t have a library during my childhood. Visiting one required a seven-mile trip across the river to the West Virginia Cabell County Library. We usually just bought books at Kmart.
For those of you unfamiliar with Bookmobiles, in the 1970s, before the proliferation of books stores and libraries, Bookmobiles were a popular way to get books to readers in rural areas. Ours was an aqua-colored, school bus-sized library on wheels that pulled up right outside our driveway. They came specially-outfitted with book shelves and an onboard librarian, Mrs. Totten . I still remember her name. It was simply a thrill to climb aboard a bus and choose a book.
As current trends and statistics are proving, the hardbound book has evolved, time has marched on and now more people than ever before are listening to audiobooks.
In 2015, according to Edison Research, 55 million Americans listened to audiobooks. By 2016, a study released by the Audio Publishers Association, https://www.audiopub.org/, reported that audiobook sales had grown by 33.9 percent.
Based on information from responding publishers, the Audio Publishers Association (APA ) estimates that audiobook sales in 2016 totaled more than $2.1 billion, up 18.2% over 2015, and with a corresponding 33.9% increase in units. This is the third consecutive year that audiobook sales have expanded by nearly 20%.
For more on the complete APA study , click here:
Who listens to audiobooks?
The study shows that nearly half (48%) of frequent audiobook listeners are under 35. They are often podcast listeners, too. Respondents who consumed both podcasts and audiobooks listened to twice as many audiobooks in the past 12 months as non-podcast consumers.
Avid readers are also listening – to an average of 15 books in the last year, and 77% of frequent listeners agreed or strongly agreed that “audiobooks help you finish more books.”
Audiobook reader behaviors
Today more than 67 million Americans listen to au each year. By the way-did you know audiobook clubs are a thing? (Remember the Readers’ Digest Condensed Book of the Month club?)
According to The Good E-Reader, here are a few more global audiobook trends to watch in 2018.
- • A majority of audiobook listening is done at home (57 percent), with the car being the second most frequently-cited location (32 percent).
- • 68 percent of frequent listeners do housework while listening to audiobooks. Other multitasking activities among frequent listeners include baking (65 percent), exercise (56 percent) and crafting (36 percent).
Good news for libraries
And these trends bode well for libraries, too. 27 percent of current audiobook listeners consider libraries and their websites to be very important for discovering new audiobook releases.
If you thought digital reading was going to signal the decline of libraries, turns out you’re in for a welcome surprise. Trends are suggesting that it has actually strengthened library systems and positioned them as hubs for innovation and education.
Books and beyond: options in creative casing for industry use
If you’re in the market for CD cases, audiobook cases or need some inspiration on how to make your audio or printed books a stand-out on retail shelves, contact Univenture.
The company is well-known within the industry for patenting the groundbreaking Safety-Sleeve® material for use in disc sleeve packaging. Their capabilities have expanded to incorporate an even wider variety of purposes. Happy customers include audio book publishers, book publishers, educational publishers, printers and libraries.
With a range 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.
Contact Univenture at 1-877-831-9243 to get started today.