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Canadian Listening Habits Have Changed Over the Past Year, According to Audible

A woman with chunky headphones on with her eyes closed

Listening habits are changing across the country, and it’s no surprise that many people are turning to audiobooks to get their daily dose of reading. What was once a hobby that involved sitting down and paying close attention to paper pages has become an activity you can enjoy while still keeping up with a busy schedule.

Audiobooks give new and avid readers alike the freedom to listen to a story while going about their day-to-day tasks (picture this: I’m listening to a murder mystery while chopping vegetables for dinner. Oh, the horror). Not only does this revamped form of reading free up time, but it gives a comforting sense of nostalgia – kind of like when someone animatedly read a book to you before bed as a kid.

See also: Can listening to sad music help heal a broken heart? Research says yes.

How are Canadian listening habits changing?

Audible recently released a study on Canadian listening habits over the past year, and here’s what we learned.

The surveys, which were commissioned by Audible and carried out online by Kantar Public from Sept. 5 to 19, 2022, found that 75 per cent of audiobook listeners worldwide also read an e-book or print book over the past year. Majority of listeners also noted that the audiobook format allowed them to consume more books.

Why are Canadians turning to audiobooks?

68 per cent of Canadians value audiobooks in their ability to educate them on a certain topic and 64 per cent turn to audiobooks simply to entertain themselves.

Plus, podcasts, audiobooks and radio allow Canadians to reduce their screen time (according to 49 per cent of survey participants), which gives them the space to switch off from everyday worries and challenges (as reported by 56 per cent of survey participants).

Related: Podcast listening may help satisfy our psychological need for social connection: study.

Where do Canadians listen to audiobooks?

While the car/commute use to be the primary space Canadians would listen to audiobooks, it has recently been overtaken by audiobooks being listened to at home. In fact, 64% of participants reported listening to audiobooks from home – an interesting fact that could have been brought on by the pandemic.


What kinds of audiobooks are Canadians listening to?

According to Audible, Canadians’ favourite genres are mysteries and thrillers, followed by science fiction and fantasy.

Love is on the brain for the younger generation, with those aged 18-29 noting their favourite genre is romance (31%), a big stretch from those aged 50-59 years (4%)

Listening habits vary across the nation, with Atlantic Canada leaning into sci-fi and fantasy; Central Canada being all for mysteries and thrillers; The Prairies being into biographies and memoirs and the West Coast into it all with sci-fi, fantasy, literature and fiction.

Some Audible best-sellers from the past year have included Joshua Jackson’s Oracle, Cobie Smulders’ Mistletoe Murders and Sidney Crosby’s The Rookie Year.

You may also like: 5 essential podcasts spotlighting women in music.

Audible’s Indigenous Writers Circle

Not only does Audible offer Canadians access to audiobooks with ease, especially since launching a Canadian-dedicated service back in 2017, but they are also currently going on year three of the Indigenous Writers Circle. Audible started the program with the goal of elevating voices in the Indigenous community.

The program involves graphic artists, poets, novelists and more, and currently has eight mentors with 24 writers in the program, a 60 per cent increase since last year. Audible’s VP, Canada Country Manager, Georgia Knox, even noted that a writer in the program switched her major to Creative Writing, an attestation to how impactful this program has been.

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