Audiobooks: convenience is prime attraction

News - Books Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Kantar research for the PA; Lotinga renews call for removal of VAT on digital reading

New research commissioned by the Publishers Association (PA) supports the observation that more and more people are listening to audiobooks because of the convenience of the medium. The research, carried out by Kantar and released during this Love Audio Week (to 16 June), found that 54% of book buyers cited convenience as their reason for choosing the medium, and 41% said that audiobooks allowed them to consume books when reading print was not possible.

Twenty seven per cent of audiobook consumers listened to audiobooks at least once a week, and 22% said they were able to retain information better through listening. Seventy-two per cent had bought a book in some format during the past year.

Stephen Lotinga, chief executive of the PA, said: "The audiobook sector continues to go from strength to strength as consumers look for new and exciting ways to incorporate books and stories into their everyday lives.

"Audiobooks are an essential companion for the everyday reader who is busy and on-the-go, like many of us so often are. They are a vital part of the publishing eco-system and allow consumers to tailor reading to suit their busy lives.

"This is why it is imperative that the Government removes VAT on digital reading products like audiobooks and ebooks. The publishing industry is committed to pursuing accessibility through digital innovation and this tax serves as a critical obstacle to this goal."

Dominic Gribben, chair of the PA's Audio Publishers Group and audio editorial director at HHJQ at Hachette, said: "It is an exciting time for our sector and audio publishers across the country are more than up for the challenge, matching record-breaking growth with hard work and innovation."

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