Thread: Audio books
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Old October 7 2012, 06:57 PM   #14
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Re: Audio books

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post

But... my gut feeling is that commercial audiobooks in general are still not all that popular. The rise of free, downloadable iTunes podcasts would surely have infringed upon the viability of commercial audiobooks that cost $$$$.
I have no idea what your measurements are for "all that popular" but I do know that the audiobook market in general is thriving. It still has a long way to go and faces some challenges. But you should know that the audiobook market hit the billion dollar sales mark for the first time this year and that the amount of books put out in the audiobformat has trippled since 2007. Also according to stats those that listen to audiobooks tend to be highly educated people with higher than average incomes. Some have claimed science fiction fans are part of that same demographic. Anyway the renting of audiobooks from libraries have also gone up by roughly 27% from 2010 to 2011. And the most popular type of audiobooks tend to be genres rather than non-fiction or the stuff you find on Best Sellers lists.

Certainly, when I see commuters plugged into their devices on trains and buses, there's more likely to be duff, duff, duff music leaking out, not the dulcet tones of a commercial audiobook.
Well, music in general makes more money than literature. That has always been the case. And even with videos people have tended to favor experiencing music in a strictly audio format. Audiobooks on the other hand have to deal with the issue that the book business is not even as successful as the faltering music industry, and that most book lovers still read books instead of listening to them. So with all those factors, with the fact that those who are buried in a book will most likely have a book or a tablet in their hands to read rather than plugs in their ears to hear, is it any wonder that you will come across more people listening to music than audiobooks?

If ST audiobooks were still commercially viable, they'd still be with us.
That's debatable. ST itself seems to have lost much of its popularity from its height in the mid 90s. Audiobooks would merely be the first casualty of such a drop. Of course it didn't help that ST audiobooks were mostly horrible. Abridged cliff notes that did a disservice to an author's intent to tell a story. You may disagree with that but most people hate/hated abridged audiobooks which is why that particular form of audiobook is all but extinct now outside of a handful you still see in stores. In five years when the CD business is gone the abridged versions will be over altogether except for those produced in previous years that will be transferred to digital.
You will be missed, Richard Biggs
1961 - too soon
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