04 marzo 2019

Profile of the Spanish audiobook market

As in most international markets, audiobooks have become the focus of the publishing sector in Spain and Latin America with spectacular growth forecasts for the upcoming years.

In order to help Spanish-speaking publishers to better understand the evolution of this new format in Spain and Latin America, Dosdoce.com has carried out a research study to analyze the potential growth of audiobooks in these markets, the most listened categories, the leading sales channels, the average price of an audiobook, etc. The publishers surveyed collectively represent 95% of the entities that produce today Spanish audiobooks on both sides of the Atlantic. At the end of 2018, there were about 8,000 audiobooks in Spanish available to readers, while in 2017 there were no more than 6,000 titles in Spanish. The study indicates that the 10.000 Spanish audiobooks figure will be reached in 2019.


The results of this new research study will help publishers who already have a catalog of Spanish audiobooks to better understand the behaviour of this format in comparison with the industry average. On the other hand, this information will also help publishers who do not yet have audiobooks to bet on this new format, given that all data indicate strong growth. Most of the production and expected growth will be derived from digital formats, since there is almost no physical audiobook market in Spain and Latin America.

Sales of audiobooks reached 5 million euros in Spain in 2018

If in 2017, several sources indicated that the estimated volume of market of Spanish audiobook sales  was between 1 and 3 million, the publishers participating in this study have indicated that in 2018 the sales of Spanish audiobooks have generated between 3 and 5 million euros in Spain. As in most international markets, everything indicates that in 2019, the Spanish markets will also experience a strong growth of audiobook sales, reaching sales of  7 million euros in the Spanish markets.


250% growth of the Spanish audiobook catalog

If in 2017 the publishers surveyed stated that they had transformed a total of 658 titles from their catalogs into audiobook format, in 2018 the figure rose to 1,715 titles. In 2019, the publishers expect to produce 2,300 new titles in Spanish, representing a 250% growth in 3 years.

Ranking of the main sales channels of audiobooks

In relation to the main business models, the Spanish publishers surveyed have stated that subscription platforms such as Storytel, Audible, Kobo or Scribd, have become the main sales channel for audiobooks in Spanish. In the second place, they have placed unit download sales channels such as Google Play, Itunes, Downpour or Libro.fm and thirdly, streaming platforms such as Spotify, Deezer, Napster, Apple Music, among others. Unlike the English speaking markets, the sale of audiobooks to libraries is still a very underdeveloped sales channel in the Spanish markets placing it in four place. Notwithoutstanding, the efforts undertaken by library elending platforms such as eBiblio and eLiburutegia, in Spain, as well as Overdrive, Odilo, Findaway or Hoopla in the United States are rapidly increasing the sales of audiobooks via this channel.


In which markets are audiobooks sold in Spanish?

Until the end of 2017, the main audiobook sales market in Spanish was the Hispanic market in the United States, followed by Spain, but the results of this research clearly indicate that this reign came to an end in 2018 when it was reached by the sum of sales incurred in Spain and Mexico. The publishers surveyed forecast that in 2019 the main sales market for Spanish audiobooks will be Spain, followed by Mexico, then the United States and finally the rest of the countries of Latin America.


60% of the audiobooks will be produced with Latin American accent

If in 2018, the Spanish accent in which the audiobooks were produced was distributed equally between the Castillian Spanish (Spanish from Spain accent) and Neutral Spanish (Latin American accent), in 2019 the results of the research indicates that the production of audiobooks with a Latin accent will significantly increase conforming 60% of the total of the new production. This increase clearly demonstrates the interest of the Spanish publishers to export these newly produced to the different countries of Latin America, as well as to the Hispanic market in the United States, where audiobooks enjoy an annual growth of 20%, continued in the last 7 years.


Unit download sale price of audiobooks

Spanish audiobooks have an average retail price of between 10 and 15 euros, according to 44% of the participating publishers. A lower price, audiobooks of less than 10 euros, represent 39% of the audiobooks available in the market. A minority of the publishers surveyed (17%) indicated that their audiobooks have an average price of 15 up to 25 euros in the Spanish market.


The most listened audiobook categories

Crime, thrillers and suspense were the most listened categories in 2018, giving them a score of 6.1 out of 7. The second category most listened category was personal development, self-help and well-being which reached a score of 5.18 points out of 7. The romantic and erotic novel ranked the fourth place with 5.11 points out of 7, followed by the audiobooks for children and young people that are located in the equator of the ranking with 4.73 points out of 7. The categorie of History and biographies reach the sixth place of the most listened to audiobook ranking, with 4 points out of 7, while the titles of Nonfiction, essay, is in seventh place, with a score of 3.6 out of 7. Finally, the titles of science fiction, fantasy, adventures although more minority, are present with 3.29 points out of 7.


Reseach Methodology

The research was conducted in January 2019.

The data provided was aggregated and analyzed in February 2019.

The Spanish and Latin American publishers publishers contributed their data through a 12 question questionnarie via Survey Monkey.

The respondents of the survey represent 95% of the entities that produce audiobooks in Spanish in volume of units, as well as in sales.


You can download the complete infographic in PDF through this link.

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