A new study shows an increase in audiobooks in France


New study of French publishers shows French audiobook fans moving away from cassettes and CDs towards digital audio, says May 4 reportand Publication prospects article.

May is “Audio Book Month” in France, according to the national publishing union (NES). The Syndicate of French Publishers (SNE) is the French professional association of book publishers, representing around 720 member companies. These combined companies account for much of the publishing that occurs in France. May 4and the SNE published a 107-page report. The study focused on the reading habits of the French in 2021 and was carried out by Médiamétrie.

Polls with lower reading habits said they use fewer digital products, while those who say they are moderate to heavy readers lead the pack when it comes to using digital products (ebooks and audiobooks).

Some interesting highlights from the report:

  • 15% of respondents have listened to a “physical audiobook“, i.e. on CD or cassette, of course
  • Only 52% of physical audiobook listeners say they’ve listened to a title less than a year ago, and the researchers say they think this shows these respondents are most likely switching from CDs and cassettes to streaming and streaming. download audiobooks.
  • 12% say they listened to a digital audiobook (downloaded or streamed) for the first time in 2021
  • 30% of ebook readers say they read more books in the last year than before
  • 20% of physical audiobook listeners say they listen to more than before
  • 27% of digital audiobook users say they listen to a wider variety of titles than before
  • Reading among survey respondents is labeled a “pleasure activity”, with more than 80% of respondents saying they read most of their reading at home.
  • Physical bookstores, print and physical audiobook formats and “specialty supermarkets” are preferred for purchases by French readers over online purchases
  • The smartphone is the best device for listening to downloadable and streaming audiobooks, and has overtaken “other reading tools for digital books”, according to the report’s authors, making it “the predominant device for listening to books downloadable audio”.
  • 95% of respondents prefer to buy new print books over used books
  • The wheelbarrow in a library is still popular, with 48% of respondents saying they had borrowed a book (both physical and digital) from the library in 2021.

An intriguing and surprising trend has shown that for both physical and digital books, there is an increase in the number of male readers. This trend is also seen in other markets, including England and other parts of Europe. This suggests that accessing literature through audio may be a format better suited to boys and men. Publishers don’t realize this, because the physical book market is largely dominated by female consumers.


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