«Italy is one of the most important countries for us in Europe. We are also present in Germany, France, Spain, UK. But in Italy we find some interesting peculiarities. The first of all is that it is an “all-you-can-listen” segment, unlike other countries». So, for a monthly subscription, you get unlimited access to a catalog of thousands of titles, more extensive than anywhere else.
Matthew Gain, Senior vice president and head of Europe of Audible – Amazon company one of the major players in the production and distribution of audiobooks, podcasts and audio series – thus explains to Only 24 Hours the interest in pushing for a country in which, according to Juan Baixeras, Country manager Spain & Italy of Audible, “listening to audio content has now become a habit and an integral part of the media diet for Italians”.
It has been seven years since Audible launched its service in Italy. And ultimately, Baixeras points out, “we could say that today almost 30% of Italians listen to audiobooks and podcasts”. As far as podcasts alone are concerned, 16.4 million people have listened to them in the last 12 months. This is one of the numbers of the latest NielsenIQ research for Audible which will be presented tomorrow and from which, wanting to outline the identikit of the podcast user in our country, it emerges that more than half of the interviewees (53%: 10 percentage points more last year) listens to them at least once a month, and those who listen are above all young people (the age groups who listen the most are in fact 18-24 and 25-34 years old) and extremely connected. In short, that age range which is the real challenge for publishers.
Audible non fa disclosure of absolute values, but reveals that in 2022 alone the growth of its customer base was 15.7%, with a +18% of hours listened to. As for the economic commitment, however, Baixeras underlines, “last year we invested 5.5 million euros in Italian content, speaking of both audiobooks and podcasts”. For podcasts alone, the figure stands at 2 million. And between audiobooks and podcasts in the previous six years there is talk of a total investment of 20 million.
«We are collaborating with companies of the caliber of Mondadori – points out Matthew Gain – and all the other major publishing houses. Audio entertainment is a great opportunity for traditional media groups to increase their revenue. And that’s why we’re very excited to work with them to help them find new ways to monetize their content and create revenue streams that are beneficial to us, but also to the publishing partners we work with.”