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Fantasy and sci-fi are most popular with audiobook listeners

Toronto, ON – Oct. 16, 2018 – New research looks at audiobook listening in 2018

A new study from BookNet Canada finds that 41% of audiobook listeners in Canada have listened to science fiction and fantasy books, followed by mysteries (38%), thrillers (32%), romance (29%), and memoirs (28%).

The recent survey of adult book buyers and audiobook listeners from across the country also shows that almost half have consumed the same book in multiple formats, and one in three listened to a sample before purchasing an audiobook.

Publishers have taken note of the rising popularity and demand for audiobooks the last few years, nearly quadrupling their production since 2015. Efforts seem to have paid off, as 93% of listeners in 2018 report that it is usually or sometimes easy to find titles they want to listen to in audio format. The majority, 55%, consume one to five audiobooks in a year, which is up from 46% in 2016 and may signal an increase in more readers trying out audiobooks for the first time.

When it comes to how listeners acquire their audiobooks, the three most popular ways are: online from a retailer (49%), downloading/streaming for free from the internet/apps (36%), and through public library apps such as Libby/OverDrive and Hoopla (32%). One out of four respondents use subscription or rental services such as Audible,, and Kobo.

More information on how much listeners are spending on audiobooks, demographics, opinions on narrators, and more can be found in the full report, available for free at

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BookNet Canada is a non-profit organization that develops technology, standards, and education to serve the Canadian book industry. Founded in 2002 to address systemic challenges in the industry, BookNet Canada supports publishing companies, booksellers, wholesalers, distributors, sales agents, and libraries across the country.

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) for this project. / Nous reconnaissons l’appui financier du gouvernement du Canada par l’entremise du Fonds du livre du Canada (FLC) pour ce projet.

Media Contact:
Zalina Alvi
Marketing & Communications Manager
BookNet Canada 
(416) 362-5057 x 2250