FunCulturalAudiobook billing in Spanish increased in 2020

Audiobook billing in Spanish increased in 2020

Although there are digital readers everywhere, the urban centers in which the greatest number are concentrated are Madrid, Barcelona and Andalusia. On the other side of the Atlantic, the largest volume of readers is found in Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Argentina and the United States. However, if we refer to audiobooks, Mexico is the predominant country, followed by Colombia and Argentina.

Spanish and Latin American publishers experienced a 113% growth in their sales of digital books and audiobooks in 2020 compared to the previous year, according to a report by the Bookwire platform, which highlights that the turnover in audiobooks increased by 137%. This is demonstrated by the seventh report by Bookwire.es 2021 on the evolution of the digital market (eBooks and audiobooks) in Spain and Latin America, which predicts that for this year the sales of audiobooks in Spanish will reach a turnover of 13 million euros.

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The market for digital books in Spanish-speaking regions continues to develop very positively, with sales of ebooks and audiobooks showing great growth, exceptionally high, according to the study. The Bookwire platform, which represents more than 840 publishing labels between Spain and Latin America, explains that the electronic book continues to represent 75% of total sales. In 2020, e-book subscription offerings such as Scribd, Nubico, Bookmate or Storytel, among others, accounted for 19% of publishers’ digital billing, compared to 17% in 2019.

The different periods of confinement also expanded the market share of libraries, growing from 3% to 6% in publishers’ digital billing. And although e-book unit download platforms, such as Amazon, Apple, Google or Kobo, are still the most important channels, they have experienced a decrease between 75% and 80% of the digital turnover of publishers. As in previous years, half of the digital billing was generated outside of Spain: Mexico is the most important market (going from a share of 18% in 2019 to 20% in 2020). 16% was attributed to the rest of the Spanish-speaking countries of South America, while the US market represents 8% and Europe contributed 4% to the turnover of digital exports from Spanish publishers.

Regarding the sales figures for e-book licenses to libraries, these increased to represent 6% of total billing. According to the Spanish Ministry of Culture, library loans grew 120% compared to 2019, from 1.7 million to 3.7 million digital loans. In addition, the global revenues that publishers have received through the model of selling licenses to digital book libraries have grown by 359% in economic value in 2019, compared to the previous year.

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Audio is the fastest growing medium for books in the Spanish market and audiobooks are on the rise, the report highlights. Thus, the income of audiobooks in Spanish grew by 137% in 2020, and billed 10 million euros. Subscription platforms, such as Storytel, Audible or Scribd, among others, have become the main channel for audiobooks in Spanish, followed by individual sales channels, such as Google Play or iTunes, and streaming platforms, such as Spotify, Deezer and the like, the report notes.

Although there are digital readers everywhere, the urban centers in which the largest number of digital readers are concentrated are Madrid, Barcelona and Andalusia. On the other side of the Atlantic, the largest volume of readers is found in Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Argentina and the United States. However, if we refer to audiobooks, Mexico is the predominant country (68%), followed by Colombia and Argentina.

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