AUDIOBOOK INDUSTRY FIGURES - 2005/2006 (the twelve-month period ending March 2006)

Total sales were £71.4m, of which £50m came from adult titles and £21.4m from children’s – this is just over a 4% increase on last year’s total sales, broken down as a 0.8% increase for adult sales and a 12.6% increase for children’s sales.

Sales total 4.9m units, of which 3.2m are adult and 1.7m are children’s – this is represents a 12.5% decrease on total unit sales last year.

Adult turnover is split as to £30.5m for abridged titles and £19.5m for unabridged, while children’s turnover is split £7.5m for abridged titles and £13.9m for unabridged – while turnover for abridged sales shows a downturn since last year, sales of unabridged titles has increased significantly by almost 60% for adult titles and by 51% for children’s titles.

In terms of units sold, adult titles were split as to 2.4m for abridged (a 30% decrease on the previous year) and 800K for unabridged (a massive 118% increase on the previous year), while children’s titles were split as to 900K for abridged (a 22% decrease on the previous year) and 800K for unabridged (a 24% increase on the previous year).

While last year’s figures showed CDs outselling cassettes in terms of sales value for the first time, this year we saw unit sales of CDs outstrip cassettes for the first time. Total cassette sales were £26.5m and total CD sales were £44.9m, with unit sales of cassettes totalling 2m units and unit sales of CDs totalling 2.9m units. This new figures represent an increase since last year of 27.5% for CD sales (and almost a 21% increase on CD units sold), with a decrease since last year of over 20% for cassette sales (and a 37.5% decrease on cassette units sold).