Jan 19, 2021 - Economy

Digital reading has exploded during the pandemic

Data: The Association of American Publishers; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios
Data: The Association of American Publishers; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The pandemic has been a boon for the book industry, but specifically, it's helped to revive the ebook industry, and push the audiobook industry to new heights.

The big picture: eBooks, according to data from The Association of American Publishers, had been declining since 2014. But for the first ten months of 2020, eBooks were up 16.5% compared to the 10 months of the prior year, bringing in nearly $1 billion.

  • That makes the ebooks industry roughly the same size as the booming podcast industry.

Audiobooks, on the other hand, have seen continuous growth every month since 2012, but the pandemic has given a huge boost to the medium.

  • In the first ten months of 2020, downloaded audio was up 17.3% as compared to the same period in 2019, with a total of $553.6 million for the year.
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