Czechs increasingly fond of audiobooks

Photo: Lenka Žižková

Sales of audiobooks in the Czech Republic continue to grow. In 2020, sales of audiobooks reached nearly CZK 230 million, an increase of over 12 percent on the previous year, suggest the newly published data by the Audiobook Publishers Association.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and increasing number of listener use the possibility to download books from the Internet. The share of digital distribution of audiobooks on the overall sales has exceeded 60 percent and is likely to increase further in the future.

“Last year’s lockdown has pushed a number of listeners to use the digital format of audiobooks. There has been a sharp rise in the number of those listening to audiobooks via mobile phones and computers.

“That has significantly fuelled the transition of digital distribution of audiobooks. The year-on-year increase in this segment has reached nearly 35 percent,” deputy head of the Audiobook Publishers Association Alan Piskač told the Czech News Agency.

According to the association’s data, some 422 audiobooks were published in 2020. The most popular genres were detective stories and thrillers, followed by books for children and teenagers.

The bestselling audiobook last year was a biography of Robert Šlachta, former head of the police's elite unit for fighting organized crime, written by veteran journalist Josef Klíma.

The largest share of the audiobook market, more than two thirds, is divided between five major publishers, whose overall share exceeds 70 percent.

They include OneHotBook and Tympanum with a share of over 16 percent, followed by Czech Radio’s own label Radioservis, Supraphon, and Albatros Media.