Downloads of audiobooks are particularly high among males aged 25-44 and those living in commuter-heavy urban regions such as London and the northwest, the Nielsen UK Books & Consumers survey found. “Listening to audiobooks seems to appeal to young men more than reading a book. It fits in much better with their lifestyle,” said Andre Breedt, managing director of Nielsen Book Research International, who will present the findings at The London Book Fair.Mr Breedt said that podcasts were a “bridge” to audiobooks for young men who have got into the habit of listening to speech content on their phones. He added: “When you ask people, especially younger people, why they listen to audiobooks, ‘it helps to relax’ is the No 1 reason. You can commute at the same time, you can do the dishes.” Non-fiction including history, autobiography, business and popular psychology are notably popular with male listeners, with crime and thriller fiction, humour and horror also doing well.”
Many of these customers were not previously big readers, meaning the audiobook boom is not cannibalising sales of physical books and ebooks.