Let’s get digital? Audiobook survey results

Is this the tipping point? With over 100 surveys tallied, there seems to be a pretty clear 50-50 split between those who are listening to audiobook downloads and those who want to hold on to the physical format. As the survey allowed multiple answers, the charts below don’t show that there were the exact same number of responders who said they “only download” and those who said “hope I am never forced to go digital.” Plus, I was amazed to see such strong numbers for audiobooks on a physical MP3 disc (nearly equal to Playaway), given that availability is somewhat limited. And it looks like cassettes and audiobook rentals are on life-support. Certainly food for thought for those charged with selecting audiobooks for public & school libraries! If you are wondering, only one person who purchases audiobooks for a school setting included cassettes in their selection choices. I’m hoping to survey a strictly-teen group to see how (or if) the numbers vary for that sampling. Of course, the results gathered by the Audio Publisher’s Association’s Sales and Consumer Survey is a professional data collection effort. But those of you who have served on an ALA committee with me know my fondness for spreadsheets & graphs 😉  So for your viewing enjoyment, here’s a visual representation of the response to my January 30, 2009 survey. And if you have any ideas for a future survey, leave a comment. I’m always up for another spreadsheet adventure!



About the Author:

Mary Burkey is an independent library consultant in Columbus (OH). An enthusiastic audiophile, she has served on all four of ALA's audiobook award committees as well as the Audies. In addition to writing the "Voices in My Head" column for Booklist, she is the author of Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature (ALA, 2013). Follow her on Twitter at @mburkey.

4 Comments on "Let’s get digital? Audiobook survey results"

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  1. Sbeauregard@ala.org' Sue-Ellen says:

    Hey nifty pie charts! Interesting results and seems like people still enjoy CD format, which is what I am hearing as well.

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