Books are audible in India

Arts & Culture Business

Globally, India stands fourth among the top five countries with the highest revenue from the audiobook industry.

Sreedev works in a corporation. He wanted to start reading since he wasn’t much of a bookaholic growing up. However, his busy schedule didn’t help his resolution. A friend told him about audiobooks and changed his life. Ever since, Sreedev has been listening to books—while driving, working out, and doing other chores.

The popularity of audiobooks is rising in India, among busy, working people like Sreedev. India is fourth among the top five countries with the highest revenue from the audiobook market.

According to Statista data, the audiobook market, which comprises revenues generated by subscriptions, digital or physical audiobooks in the form of CDs or Tonies, and app spending, is increasing in India.

The revenue of audiobooks in India increased to $268 million in 2023, a 37.34 per cent increase from $195.20 million in 2022.

The average revenue per reader is also increasing in India

In terms of revenue from audiobooks, US tops the list with a revenue of $3408 million generated till April 2024, followed by China ($1316 million) and Germany ($354.30 million). India ($355.10 million) stands fourth followed by UK ($314.60 million).

US tops the list of countries which generates most revenue in Audibook market.

Anavadya, also a voracious reader, enjoys audiobooks. She loves listening to audiobooks of the Harry Potter series, as she believes that it fuels her imagination. “When they are narrated in a good way, you can feel it and imagine,” she said. Anavadya loves the background music, mood setting, and voice modulations in audiobooks, which she thinks improves the experience.

However, audiobooks are not everyone’s cup of tea. For many conventional readers, the experience of reading a physical book is irreplaceable. Sruthi, a student from Pondicherry University, prefers to read books instead of listening. “Audiobooks are difficult to follow. Sometimes narrations in different accents lack clarity. My attention also gets diverted,” she said.

Sudipa Chatterjee, a linguist thinks that, while reading conventional books helps you transport to a different world, audiobooks come in handy when you are short on time. “In the current scenario, everybody is working. And private jobs are more demanding these days. So, between work, family, and leisure time, a person who is a lover of books definitely can’t stay without reading. But, at the end of the day, one might be exhausted to pick up a book and read. Audiobooks come in handy then,” said Sudipa.