According to a new report by Javier Celaya and his digital consultancy Dosdoce, based in Bilbao, Spain, the Spanish audio market has registered an ongoing double-digit annual increase in sales in the last ten years, becoming the fastest-growing revenue model in the entire publishing world.
In just five years, a growing industry of paid Spanish spoken-word content has been created to meet demand from new audio platforms such as Audible, Storytel, Scribd, Nextory, Podimo, BookBeat, Sonora, and Convoy. By the end of 2022, there were more than 500,000 paying listeners of Spanish audio content, according to the recent “Spanish Markets Audio Growth Report 2017–2022” study conducted by Dosdoce.com, who called it an “incredible landmark in the Spanish markets because of the initial ‘low propensity to pay’ culture for streaming services.”
New audio content creation is rapidly increasing in Spanish, as evidenced by the huge spike of new titles on offer on all platforms. The report finds that there are currently more than 20,000 audiobooks and 100,000 podcasts in Spanish on offer compared to scarcely 1,000 only a few years ago. By the end of 2023, there will be more than 25,000 audiobooks available in Spanish, of which around 60% come under the fiction category (novels, romance, literature, etc.). Audio production is about even between those in a Castilian Spanish accent and those in Latin American Spanish accents.
To reach this level, the main audio platforms have jointly invested more than $65 million over the last five years. According to the report, subscription will continue to be the dominant business model. More than 80% of audio income is derived today from streaming platforms, but audio platforms will become smarter, offering different subscription models and rates to meet the demands of each user’s content consumption.
“In 2023, we will see the arrival of more unlimited subscription models but with different factors that will allow the audio streaming industry to continue to grow, since each of these new models will meet the needs of different segments of the public,” explained Celaya, founder of Dosdoce.com.
The report adds that in the last six years, there have been great advances in the quality of synthetic Spanish voices, which now closely resemble human voices. Artificial voices will allow publishers to produce more audiobooks at lower costs to suit less-mainstream listeners.