Get a piece of this $900 Million Dollar Industry.

You may have noticed that audio books are entering into the mainstream regarding literary consumption. Books on tape, spoken word recordings, storytelling based upon oral tradition… While its lovely and whimsical to think about the endless options to satisfy us as consumers, the marriage of the spoken word and digital recording for audiobooks is currently a $900 million dollar industry.

The founder of Audible, Donald Katz, in a recent interview with Business 2.0, shared his insight on where this market is headed. The demand for audio books has ballooned, much aided by the presence of the iPod. People are taking their music with them wherever they go, are listening to podcasts, so the ability to take your favorite book with you in digital form via an MP3 player isn’t a big stretch of the imagination.

Think of it as theatre of the mind. Its like floating off into an oasis of well crafted words flowing through the mouth of an excellent orator – it takes limited effort to listen, enjoy, and digest the plot, objective, or thematic material of an audio book.
As voice actors, narrators and storytellers, you too can have a piece of this pie. Afterall, the entire concept of this product is built upon using the human voice to breathe life into the written word, and now, this is an on-demand service.
Books, magazines, newspapers, speeches, interviews, how-to manuals, and also the localization of these is now the fastest growing market in the world regarding the use of voice-overs.

As mentioned in our audiobook post last week, you can take your favorite books anywhere now on an iPod or similar MP3 playing device. You’ll also be able to take your pick between reading the printed word and listening to the spoken word in many cases. With Audible at the wheel and competitors creeping up quickly, there may be more audiobook titles available online than printed books stocked in libraries!
Have you listened to an audiobook before? If so, what differences did you find between reading and listening?

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.


  1. Audio books are indeed a huge industry… and growing all the time. The rapid growth of digital media players (ie iPods and MP3 players)are definitely helping to grow the industry.
    Currently, the market is still mostly tape and CD– taking about 90% of the market between them.
    Direct download is growing very fast–some estimates say market penetration for this format doubles each year.
    What’s really interesting and exciting for people in the industry is that most of the people who get into direct downloads have never listened to an audio book before.
    It’s a whole new way to reach the 80% of Americans who have never listened to an audio book, and might not even be sure what one is.


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