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The Rise of Audiobooks

Do you dream of finding a career in voice acting? With major publishers struggling to churn out as many audiobooks as possible, you would do well to pay close attention to this growing industry.

Sales of printed books, and even e-books, have declined severely in recent years. Recovery is slowly beginning to take place, but the market where publishers are seeing the greatest growth is in audiobooks. Audible.co.uk is one of the leaders in the audiobook industry, and their membership growth has been consistent at 40 percent per year. In 2015, Audible members listened to 1.6 billion hours of content. And that is just one company! What accounts for this huge interest in audiobooks, and how does it affect the voiceover industry?

Reasons to Love Audiobooks

If you haven’t tried audiobooks, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. But imagine being able to read the newest best sellers during your morning commute, your daily run, or while cleaning the house. That’s the freedom audiobooks provide. In a busy world, audiobooks allow listeners to experience novels and non-fiction on the go. But that’s not all that audiobooks have going for them.

A printed book may cost upwards of £20, but an audiobook? Well, most companies offer subscriptions, so you can listen to as many as you want for one flat monthly fee. If you’re a bookworm on a budget, audiobooks allow you to experience the rich worlds of your favourite novels without breaking the bank.

Narrators Wanted

audiobook voiceover

Jim Dale has had a long career on stage, on TV, in film, and as a musician. But these days, since his phenomenal narration of the Harry Potter series, he’s in wide demand as a voice artist. (photo via jim-dale.com)

A captivating narrator is an absolute must for an audiobook to find success. Many celebrities, including Jim Dale, Stephen Fry, and Colin Firth, have lent their talents to different recordings. But there were 43,000 audiobooks released in 2015, meaning that publishers are in desperate need of even more talented voice artists.

Of course, it takes a lot to create a truly enthralling narration. Jim Dale created distinct voices for 134 characters during his recording of the Harry Potter books. Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice has been famously described as being like “a jaguar hiding in a cello,” and listening to his masterful reading of poetry proves this to be an apt description.

If you think you have what it takes to narrate with the likes of Dale and Cumberbatch, now is a great time to dive into the world of voice acting, since publishers are constantly seeking new narrators. You might start with a workshop or an acting course. But listening to audiobooks, especially those narrated by popular artists, can also be great training. Regardless of what you opt for, keep an eye on audiobook news, because this is one industry that is moving fast!

Do you have a favorite audiobook or narrator? Tweet us @matineemulti and let us know, we always love recommendations!