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Audiobooks seize market share

12 March 2018

At this week's conference of the Independent Publishers' Guild, Jo Forshaw talked about the way in which the audio market is opening up, beginning to provide a challenge to ebooks. Forshaw, who until recently ran HarperCollins UK's audio division, said that when she started working at the publisher, fewer than one in ten print books were released in audio; now everything is published in the two formats simultaneously.

Publishers are seizing opportunities to reach new markets of young people, for whom streaming is a natural way to access audiobooks. But there are also older audiences who have gradually come to see that audiobooks offer a perfect accompaniment to travelling and housework, and who are attracted by the very much wider range of audiobooks now available in the market. Online selling and the growth of Amazon's Audible have made it increasingly easy to reach the market.