Who Listens To Audiobooks? Scribd Sheds Light On Commuter Trends In The U.S.

Sergei Malgavko/TASS/Getty Images

You've probably passed them in the public library: those hulking, squat cases of CDs — formerly cassette tapes — filled with nothing but recorded books. And you might have found yourself wondering, Who listens to audiobooks? , especially if you've never picked one up for yourself. Now, digital reading subscription service Scribd has compiled listening data to tell us who's consuming the most audiobooks across the U.S.

Audiobook sales have been on the rise for several years. Overdrive, Hoopla, and similar applications allow library patrons to check out digital materials — including audiobooks — from their mobile devices, which Scribd says are the most popular listening vehicles.

Like Overdrive and Hoopla, Scribd provides access to e-books and e-audiobooks from any connected device. But unlike library applications, whose limited copies of some materials may force patrons to wait weeks to read or listen to the titles they want, Scribd allows subscribers to download three books and one audiobook each month, from bottomless reserves. Users also have unlimited access to sheet music, documents, and certain e-books and e-audiobooks.

One note before we delve into Scribd's data: this article may interchange "audiobook listeners" with "commuters." However, subway riders aren't the only folks who enjoy audiobooks. They're incredibly popular choices for roadtrippers, exercise fans, and anyone with long hours of quiet activity ahead.

So what did Scribd find out about who listens to audiobooks?

Overall, plains states have the most tuned-in commuters, while the Northeast has fallen behind. Idaho, Utah, and Maine took top honors for having the most audiobook listeners, while New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey had the fewest.

Scribd subscribers in Brooklyn, Buffalo, New York City, and The Bronx were among those who listened to audiobooks the least, but Madison, Wisconsin had the fewest listeners. On the other end of the spectrum, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and Charlotte, North Carolina tipped the scales with their audiobook-heavy commutes.

The data above comes from 3.9 million listening hours that Scribd subscribers logged between December 1, 2014 and January 31, 2016. That's over 9,000 hours every day. Pretty impressive, if you ask me.

If you want to get in on the audiobook craze, check out Scribd's new Unlimited Listens promotion. From July 5 through September 30, every Scribd subscriber has access to a pool of more than 5,000 audiobooks, which she may download without using up her Monthly Listen. Memberships begin with a 14-day free trial, and subscribers who wish to continue the service pay $8.99 per month.

Image: Sergei Malgavko/TASS/Getty Images; Courtesy of Scribd