At London Book Fair: Mapping 192 Audio Sales Channels

In News by Porter Anderson

Subscription leads audio business models—some of them ‘hybrid subscription’—that Dosdoce will report on at London Book Fair.

Image: Dosdoce

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

A Seminar Session at London Book Fair
Following his January “map” of fast growth in Spanish-language audio markets, Dosdoce‘s Madrid-based Javier Celaya at London Book Fair this week will introduce another such guide, a “European Audiobook Sales Channels Map” of distribution and retail.

Rapidly becoming the international book business’ cartographer of audio development with his “map” reports, Celaya’s presentation will open Wednesday’s Day Two book fair activities at LBF’s Tech Theatre on Wednesday (March 13) at 9:30 a.m. GMT.

In that session, titled Evolution, Growth, and Trends of the Audio Industry Across Europe, Celaya—a consultant and analyst who’s among the European industry’s best-known in assessing market development of audio—will outline a series of observations around what he sees as 192 sales channels operating in Europe this year.

The Topography of European Audio Growth

An evaluative ‘map’ of European Audio Sales Channels in 2024. Image: Dosdoce

Keep in mind that in that January report in which he was “mapping” Spanish-language audio growth, Celaya reported that the audio industry in Spanish-language markets “nearly doubled in size, growing 75 percent in 2023 over growth observed in 2022.”

This week, among top-line points he’ll touch on at London Book Fair:

  • A testament to publishing’s internationalism, 24 percent of those audio channels are based outside the Continent, mainly in the United States
  • Subscription represents 34 percent of the total audio entities Celaya is tracking
  • A-la-carte (unit sale download) channels represent 26 percent of the total audio entities he covers
  • A growing trend is the emergence of audio channels that offer hybrid models: subscription services with optional unit sale purchases—perhaps metered by how many hours a listener consumes, for example—represents 18 percent of the total audio entities
  • Aggregators and/or distributors represent 10 percent of the total audio entities on Dosdoce’s “map”
  • Children’s content devices represent 6 percent of the total audio entities tracked
  • Library channels represent 6 percent of those tracked audio entities

More details Celaya will cover on Wednesday include the fact that the Nordic markets have the highest number of audio subscription offers, commanding just under 60 percent of the audiobook sales channels there.

Javier Celaya

In other regions, the a-la-carte markets are in the fore, accounting for up to 50 percent of audio action in their economies.

In terms of children’s growing use of content devices, the greatest upswings are seen in the United Kingdom, France, and Benelux, Celaya says, with such commerce for children representing up to 22 percent of audio sales channels in those areas.

The largest number of e-lending platforms—used, of course, by libraries for their patrons—are in southern Europe, specifically Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece, at some 10 percent of the channels across the region. That’s followed by the United Kingdom and France, with less than 3 percent, showing the e-lending platform lead to be a big one, in southern Europe.

Eastern Europe, Celaya’s research shows, is effectively “new territory,” currently coming in with less than 1 percent of the 192 audio channels he’s tracking.

More will be offered in his presentation on Wednesday. The session is presented in association with EARS, the Barcelona Entertainment Recording System.


More from Publishing Perspectives on audiobooks is here, more on digital publishing is here, more on Spanish-language news is here, more on Spain’s market is here, more on Mexico’s market is here, more on Dosdoce’s work is here, and more on industry statistics is here

More of our coverage of the 2024 London Book Fair:

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.