Easy listening: the rise of the audiobook | Books | The GuardianAmericans are spreading their book consumption across several formats, and the use of audiobooks is on the rise. Roughly seven-in-ten U. Overall, Americans read an average mean of 12 books per year, while the typical median American has read four books in the past 12 months. Despite some growth in certain digital formats, it remains the case that relatively few Americans only consume digital books which include audiobooks and e-books to the exclusion of print. Demographic differences in book reading in are similar to the patterns seen in past Center surveys.
Audiobooks - The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Thanks to audiobooks, reading's popularity still strong in America
Have you noticed lately that everyone you know seems to be listening to audiobooks? According to the Association of American Publishers, audiobooks are growing faster than any other format , including print and e-books. A survey by the Pew Research Center revealed that, although print books are still the most popular format for reading , audiobook use is on the rise. But why? What is it about this format, which has been around since the s, that has made it so desirable in ?
Ebook growth remains stalled, but audiobook consumption is rising to compensate, with almost one in five Americans having listened to an audiobook in the past year. Ebook-only readership does not vary with educational attainment, either. The growth of audiobooks is pretty fantastic news, with one fly in the ointment. The market is almost entirely controlled by Audible, a division of Amazon, who have a mandatory DRM policy that publishers cannot opt out of. That means that nearly all of the audiobooks sold in America are locked in a format that Amazon controls, and that means that Amazon has the power to change the rules on those books whenever it wants, de-listing hardware players, or revoking access or features. And since DRM is protected by EU and US law that can subject security researchers to criminal and civil liability for revealing defects in products, every devices that can play an Audible title is a potential reservoir of long-lived digital pathogens that both criminals and good guys can discover, but only criminals can do something about.
The format for audiobooks is much more convenient now, in my opinion. The end of the story was not there, and that certainly soured me on audiobooks for a while. Then I moved to CDs with mixed results. While books on CD are still available at local bookstores and libraries, I have switched to downloadable audiobooks and recommend them as easier to use. You can listen on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. And, of course, with most newer cars, you can connect with a cable or Bluetooth. No surprise, the new survey shows that 74 percent of audiobook consumers listen in their car.
A re audiobooks the new… books? Can people no longer be bothered to read for themselves?
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