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A third of Australians are lending their ears to audiobooks

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For all those people you see out and about wearing earphones in the street and on public transport, a third of them are listening to audiobooks, a new study has revealed.

Research from Audible.com.au, the Australian division of the world’s leading audiobook and spoken word entertainment provider, shows more than 6.6 million Australians listen to their books.

And millennials are leading the way with more than half (55 per cent) listening to audiobooks instead of music.

it also looks set to increase the study showing nine in 10 (90 per cent) expected to listen to even more books than they do now within the next three years.

A big factor behind the popularity of audiobooks is the ability to listen to a story while getting on with other things.

More than two thirds (72 per cent) say listening to an audiobook makes them more willing to get on with other activities like cleaning and exercise.

Four in five (84 per cent) of Australians under 34 admitted audiobooks keep them entertained while performing tedious tasks.

The research results were released as Audible celebrates its fifth birthday in Australia and New Zealand.

The growth in the popularity of audiobooks is clearly seen among its customers who downloaded an average of 17 audiobooks and listened to more than 50 million hours of audio content which is up from 32 million just two years ago.

“Consumers are facing more pressure than ever before to fit everything into a busy schedule, but our research shows that this doesn’t have to come at the cost of entertainment,” says Leanne Cartwright-Bradford, country manager of Audible.com.au.

“Audible allows Australians to fit more books into their busy lives on-the-go, and with more than 400,000 audiobooks and exclusive podcasts, we’re seeing strong year-on-year growth as more Australians realise this and embrace audiobooks.”

Earlier this year Audible launched Australian and New Zealand originals featuring a number of diverse productions including the true crime podcast Blood Territory and Nikki Gemmels The Invisible Women’s Society.

“Audible is fiercely passionate about bringing Australian audiences immersive audio experiences that capture the Australian voice, tackle important and timely issues, and entertain and inspire our listeners, Cartwright-Bradford says.

“We see our future firmly cemented in Audible Original content you can’t get anywhere else, and we’re committed to working with many of Australia’s best creatives to create unique and innovative local stories that elevate the listening experience.”

Other key takeaways from Audible’s birthday research include:

Multi-tasking to the max: Of those already listening to audiobooks, 90 per cent agree that it allows them to multitask or be more efficient.

Mental stimulation on the move: Aussies would most commonly consider listening to an audiobook while on a flight (38 per cent), and road tripping or on a long drive (32 per cent).

Me-time, please: Nearly 1 in 3 Aussies (29 per cent) would consider listening to an audiobook when they want some ‘me time’. A similar number (36 per cent) would listen while relaxing at home.

Celebrity-centric: Two thirds (65 per cent) of Aussies would be more likely to listen to an audiobook narrated by a celebrity. The most common celebrities making Aussies all ears are Morgan Freeman (41 per cent), David Attenborough (34 per cent), Barack Obama (24 per cent), Stephen Fry (22 per cent) and Scarlett Johansson.

A cracking yarn: Two thirds (66 per cent) of Aussies say they have at least one book on their “to read” wish list, but most say a lack of time (62 per cent) is the most common reason they are not cosying up with a book.

Keeping up with culture: Aussies most often wish they had read the Game of Thrones series (23 per cent), The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (22 per cent), and The Barefoot Investor (22 per cent).

Audible has launched new birthday membership plans to give listeners one or two audiobooks a month for $16.45 or $27.45 respectively.

Audible.com.au are also holding a a five-day sale for members, which will see 20 fan favourites from the last five years made available for $5 each a day. Audiobooks on sale include The Barefoot InvestorThe Tattooist of AuschwitzBraving the WildernessBig Little Lies and Gone Girl. To take advantage of the sale, visit audible.com.au/birthday.