Audiobook Statistics Reveals How Experts Use Audiobooks

We Surveyed 100's of Leaders & Professionals to Discover How They Listen To Audiobooks To Boost Their Knowledge, Skills, Success & Relaxation. Find Out More

I am a huge fan of Audiobooks; in fact, I have listened to over 255 full-length Audiobooks over the last nine years. I feel I am quite knowledgeable about how to best use and consume this huge wealth of knowledge. But I wanted to find out if I am alone in my huge consumption of Audiobooks.

We surveyed close to 1,000 experts in the media, business, and knowledge worker world to determine whether they consume Audiobooks, the benefits, and their listening habits.

Audiobook Consumption Statistics
My Audiobook Consumption Statistics

The results were overwhelmingly positive and, for me, surprising.

If you would like to read the best qualitative feedback from our respondents, see the article – 21 Experts Reveal How Audiobooks Will Change Your Life.

What is an Audiobook?

An Audiobook is a narrated and digitized copy of a written book. Some Audiobooks are dramatized, and many are narrated by professionally trained actors. Today, audiobooks are on demand via your smartphone. Audiobooks have huge advantages over print books for active people who want to learn new skills or be entertained.

The Benefits of Audiobooks

  • Listening to storytelling – 26%
  • Accessibility / Time Saving – 26%
  • Mental Fitness / Building Concentration – 16%
  • Consumption of Knowledge – 13%
  • Save space – 3%
  • Fall in love with books again – 3%
  • Shared Experiences with Children & Family – 3%
  • Relaxation & Sleep, Longevity & Learning English – 10 %
Pie Chart - Survey Question: What are the Benefits of Audiobooks?
Pie Chart – Survey Question: What are the Benefits of Audiobooks?

Our respondents actually benefit from audiobooks in a surprising number of ways. The overwhelming benefits of audiobooks were listening to storytelling, accessibility, and improving mental fitness.

The power of audiobooks is that they ignite in us the ancient ritual and joy of storytelling that was ingrained in our species since the beginning – Barry D. Moore

The ability to use the time in our day when performing mundane tasks to build knowledge or enjoy a novel is also a hugely powerful benefit of audiobooks. Many people use audiobooks to have a shared experience, for example, on a long car ride or relaxing by the fire in winter.

The greatest benefit for me is that I can “read” with my eyes closed. When I had a long day in the office, I want to take my glasses off and let my eyes rest. Survey Response

Some people even find them deeply relaxing and use them as part of their bedtime routine.

How do you listen to Audiobooks?

  • Driving – Commuting / Road trips – 31%
  • Housework / DIY – 25%
  • Exercising / at the Gym – 18%
  • Walking / Walking the Dog – 10%
  • Shopping – 6%
  • Bedtime – 6%
  • Time with Kids – 4%
Pie Chart - Survey Question: When Do You Listen To Audiobooks?
Pie Chart – Survey Question: When Do You Listen To Audiobooks?

The people surveyed highlighted that their most common use of audiobooks was during their daily commute to work or on road trips, which is a huge benefit of audiobooks.

The invention of audiobooks has been a beautiful thing in my life! Especially at my current stage with three kids, I am lucky if I have the time or energy to squeeze in reading right before bed. With the advent of audiobooks though, I can multitask, and every car ride or run on the treadmill is a chance to “read.” – Survey Response

I was also surprised to learn that 25% of our respondents listened to audiobooks while doing housework or home improvement projects.

Audiobooks have kept me entertained for much of my life, as a child on long boat trips with my father, on long RV rides with my entire family, and on late-night commutes as an adult – Survey Response

I also suspect a large proportion of dog owners are avid audiobook readers, judging by the responses.

What are the Cons of Audiobooks?

  • Taking notes/idea capture – 40%
  • Easy to lose track – 27%
  • Bad Narrators – 13%
  • It’s Faster to read – 7%
  • No physical book – 7%
  • Complex topics are difficult – 6%
Pie Chart - Survey Question: What is the Downside to Audiobooks?
Pie Chart – Survey Question: What is the Downside to Audiobooks?

By far, the biggest issue of listening to audiobooks compared to reading is the ability to take notes, according to our poll. Although many of the best Audiobook apps allow you to bookmark and take notes, many found this challenging.

Because the majority of people who are listening to audiobooks are usually multitasking, 27% of people polled suggested it is easy to lose track of the subject or story.

Occasionally you may run into a bad narrator, and for me, that ruins the book. Luckily services like Audible let you listen to 5 minutes of the book as a preview before buying. – Survey Response

Finally, according to 13% of those who answered, a bad narrator could seriously ruin a book on audio. I completely agree. I had listened to 10 out of the 20 “The Undead” books by RR Haywood, and then the narrator was changed. I loved those books, but I had to stop right in the middle of the series because the new narrator was awful.

How Many Audiobooks Do You Listen to Per Month?

  • 0 – Do not Like Them – 4%
  • 1 – 25%
  • 2 to 3 – 32%
  • 4 to 7 -29%
  • 7+ – 11%
Pie Chart - Survey Question: How Many Audiobooks Do You Listen To Per Month?
Pie Chart – Survey Question: How Many Audiobooks Do You Listen To Per Month?

Our poll revealed that 32% of people listen to 2 or 3 books per month, and 29% digested 4 to 7 books per month. This means that 61% of audiobook listeners are avid fans.

Many of those heavy listeners also indicated in their qualitative responses that they were in the past serious bookworms but did not have the time to read because of work, exercise, or family commitments. Consequently, Audiobooks enabled them to rekindle their love of books again.

I listen to roughly 3 new titles and relisten to one to two titles a month on Audible. Survey Response

I am in the 4 to 7 books per month, but I see that 11% of our respondents are even more passionate about audiobooks than I, with a monthly consumption of over seven books, averaging 84 books per year.

Which Audiobook Service Do You Use?

  • Audible – 49%
  • Library Apps – 24%
  • Storytel (non-English) – 9%
  • Apple iBooks – 6%
  • Scribd – 6%
  • Google Play Books – 3%
  • CDs – 3%
Pie Chart - Survey Question: What is the Best Audiobook Service?
Pie Chart – Survey Question: What is the Best Audiobook Service?

Audible, owned by Amazon, leads the pack, with 49% of those polled choosing it as their preferred Audiobook provider, citing the convenience, price, and instant availability of all the biggest bestsellers.

Surprisingly, 24% of people use various library loaning apps to acquire their audiobooks for free. Even though they stated that the inconvenience of waiting in line for popular titles was annoying, they felt it was worth having a free audiobook.

I’ve only ever used Audible for audiobooks. They provide fantastic accessibility to what can otherwise be quite a complicated genre. Survey Response

Storytel is overwhelmingly popular for audiobooks that cater to foreign languages like Spanish, German, and French.

Finally, Apple iBooks, Google Play Books, and Scribd are still small players, probably because they entered the market later and were not competitive on price or the number of titles they offered.

Are Audiobooks as Good as Reading?

94% of people who consume audiobooks claim they have many advantages over print books. The ability to digest a book while driving or exercising, primarily freeing the mind to concentrate not on written words but instead on creating vivid images in the mind’s eye, makes audiobooks superior to print.

How to Buy Audiobooks?

  1., an Amazon Company, offers the largest collection of Audiobooks on the planet, the best prices, and an excellent “satisfaction guarantee” returns policy. The 30-day free trial includes 1 Full Audiobook + 1 Audible Original book.
  2. – a 30-day free trial, great prices, and a highly rated App, plus two free Audiobooks.
  3. SCRIBD – For a flat fee of $9.99, you get access to the entire audiobook library, but consumption and the selection of books are restricted.

How to Get Audiobooks for Free

You can get audiobooks for free if you are willing to wait in line for popular titles, just like in your local library, without all the standing around.

  1. Blinkist – Blinkist summarizes non-fiction books into an audiobook digestible in 15 minutes. Sign up for free and receive a 15-minute audiobook for free every single day.
  2. HOOPLA—If your library has a subscription service, you can log in with your library card and access the catalog.
  3. Loyalbooks – Loyalbooks has over 7000 public domain books for you to read.
  4. Overdrive – Overdrive is another audiobook app you can use in your library.
  5. Librivox – Public domain books read by volunteers across the globe.

Which Audiobook Services are the Best?

Best Audiobook Services
Read the Article – Best Audiobook Services & Subscriptions Tested
Barry D. Moore
Barry's 25 years of experience with Silicon Valley Corporations such as IBM, Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Hewlett Packard Enterprise & DXC Technology enables him to share his knowledge of succeeding in today's professional corporate environments and develop a great work life for yourself.


  1. You don’t have to “wait in line” to download audiobooks from Librivox. Just visit the site, find a book you like, download to your iTunes account (Podcast App), or get the Librivox Audiobooks app (paid version is ad free for only $1.99) and all titles are available. Listen on your phone or tablet. Or download to your computer from the website.

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