New Year's Resolutions Push Audible's Revenue to a New Peak

Ariel Ariel
3/3/23

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - What a Start!. Check out the full article for more insights.


Earlier this week I wrote a keyword teardown for the keyword "audiobooks". The teardown was inspired by so many people I know vowing to "read" more this year but listening instead, a trend Spotify expected when it got into audiobooks recently.

I was curious to see how big of a trend audiobooks are so I took a look at Audible's App Store revenue. Audible is the biggest name in audiobooks, so if there's a trend we'd see it there.

I've looked at Audible a few times in this series and the trend was always growing, so I expected growth -- but the numbers are higher than I even expected.

Is listening the future for books? Looking at Audible's App Store revenue, the answer is yes.

Audible's App Store revenue grew 19% between January and December of 2022. In more absolute terms, net revenue, which is what Audible (aka. Amazon) gets to keep after Apple's fees, grew from $15M to $18M, according to our estimates.

Wild, right?

But then 2023 happened.

I noticed Audible slowly climbing the top grossing chart in the US steadily in January, and the revenue agreed.

Our estimates show Audible's net revenue from the App Store jumping in January to more than $25M.

To put that in context, we're looking at 65% revenue growth year over year. For books.

This trend opens up a few new opportunities for the space. The obvious one is more competition. Spotify has already jumped into this race and others will join as well. And competition will bring variety.

Spotify's pay model, where they're not included in your Spotify subscription, isn't too attractive. That's bound to change as it'll realize it can't compete with Audible. While that's happening, Audible is testing ads within audiobooks, which means we might see a free or free(ish) tier coming in the future.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

Tagged: #books

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