Going Into 2019, The Publishing Industry Is Excited About Audio
Audiobooks have been a popular sector of the publishing industry for years now thanks to the ubiquity of the smartphone, but 2018 was the year that distribution channels caught up: Google, Walmart, and Instaread all started selling audiobooks within the last year, and Kobo wasn't too far ahead of them. Intermediaries are making audiobook distribution easier too, like Findaway Voices, which ushers self-published authors' audiobooks onto the Apple Books marketplace and its 45% royalties. With even more audiobook accessibility, 2019 is poised to keep the audio train rolling, and no publisher wants to be left behind.
Ian Small, general manager of digital audiobook service Audiobooks.com, has been tracking the ins and outs of the audiobook industry for over 14 years. He predicts more growth and more evolution than ever in 2019: "I predict more competition and entries into the market, and more creativity as retailers try new things and battle for consumer attention," he tells me. "With that, we’ll see outside industries trying to align with positioned retailers to participate in the growing market, and different industries partnering together to create synergies and increase growth potential. I expect to see surprising collaborations, and new service models for the consumer, as well as experimentation with content and delivery."