Audio is today a type of format that serves as a complementary means to economically exploit the textual content sold by the publishing sector. The percentage of implementation of audio as a market for books among the audience is quite uneven in Europe. It is undoubtedly growing in almost all the countries, but its percentage of implementation among the audience is much higher in the Scandinavian countries than, for example, in Spain or Italy.

Audio content presents new revenue streams for publishers through subscription models, ad-supported content, or direct sales of audiobooks. This diversification could be very useful in a competitive publishing landscape.

Few months ago, the Germán Sánchez Ruipérez Foundation (FGSR) organised its first professional event dedicated exclusively to audio for the book industry. The conference was named Audio Day PARIX, as makes part of the school for the publishing industry that FGSR has created in 2023 (PARIX).

This event tackled the latest global trends in the audio-entertainment industry, the reading behaviour of audiobook listeners, the upcoming irruption in the Spanish markets of children’s content listening devices, the profile of the Latino listener in the Hispanic market in the United States, as well as many key insights in audio content marketing.

Audio Day PARIX had the participation of important international and national speakers such as Michele Cobb, director of the Audio Publishers Association (USA); Sara Lloyd, Group Communications Director and Global AI Lead at Pan Macmillan; Karl Berlung, professor at Uppsala University (Sweden) and author of the book “Reading Audio Listeners”; Gabriel Soto, Senior Director of Research at the prestigious research company Edison Research (USA); Ana Julia Ghirello, SVP Global Partnerships at Storytel (Sweden); Carla Herbertson, children’s content specialist at SmallWardour (UK); María Jesús Espinosa de los Monteros García, general director of PRISA Audio (Spain); Hernán García, director of Podcasts Development at TelevisaUnivisión (USA); Gabriel Polgati, executive director of RDF Media (Chile); Juan Baixeras, Country Manager of Audible in Spain and Italy; Juan Ignacio Solera, founder of iVoox (Spain) and Kiyeun Baek, Senior Licensing and Partnership at Yoto (United Kingdom), Tina Juergens, CEO of Zebralution (Germany); Arantza Larrauri, general director of Libranda (Spain), Mariana Féged, general director of Bookwire (Spain); Santos Palazzi, director of the Mass Market and Digital Area of Grupo Planeta (Spain); Carmen Ospina, director of Marketing, Communication and Business Development of PRH (Spain), among many other speakers, who shared their experiences and knowledge through different keynotes, presentations and round tables. 300 people attended this event at the venue of FGSR in Madrid.


The FGSR commissioned Javier Celaya, founding partner of, to curate the meeting. Celaya has also assumed the academic direction of the training course “Creation and sale of audio content for the publishing sector” offered by the PARIX school.

The goal of the GSR Foundation with the organisation of Audio Day PARIX was to help professionals in the Spanish-language markets (Spain, Latin America and the Hispanic market in the United States) to learn about the latest international trends in the sector, discover good practices and lessons learned, as well as to establish contacts for future business opportunities in the world of audio-entertainment (podcasts, sound fiction, audiobooks, etc.).

“Through this annual meeting, the FGSR’s ambition is for the PARIX school to be an instrument for the Spanish book sector to decisively launch itself into different audio-entertainment formats (podcasts, audiobooks, sound fiction, audio-series, etc.)” declared Luis González, General Director of the GSR Foundation.

During this meeting many insights were shared by the speakers. When talking about the future trends there was some accord on some prospects on the future trends that might be successful:

  • The adaptation of bestsellers in sound fiction.
  • Travel podcasts that include each person’s experience.
  • Interactivity and transmedia content.
  • Restructure classic’s content into shorter formats.

Michele Cobb, Executive Director of both The Audio Publishers Association and The Podcast Academy, presented some data on the US market. According to Cobb “Spanish appears to be the largest of the non-English titles produced”. With digital distribution platforms, European publishers can distribute audio content globally, breaking down geographical barriers and reaching international audiences effectively. For instance, the Spanish publishers could access to a more global market in Spanish.

In the case of the Spanish market, the first edition of the Audio Industry Map in Spanish published by Dosdoce, over the last five years, more than 430 entities that represent this audio -entertainment industry have created more than 100,000 podcasts and nearly 25,000 audiobooks in Spanish, among other formats, compared to the scarce audio content in Spanish just few years ago.

As a constatation of this trend in the Spanish market, Professionals as Santos Palazzi (director of Mass Market and Digital Department at Grupo Planeta) declared that “The popularity of audiobooks has given rise to rich adaptations, where stories are complemented by musical elements, sound effects and dramatized performances by narrators. All of this offers new creative opportunities for authors, producers and artists, expanding the emotional and artistic impact of the narratives.”

Audio formats appeal to audiences who prefer accessing to content while commuting, exercising, or doing other activities where reading a book is not feasible. This allows publishers to reach people who may not typically engage with written content.

More recently, during the last Readmagine conference, Jason Kelly of Sounded discussed the growth of the audio market and the role of AI in audio production. As a confounder of Sounded, explained that his company offers a platform for producing audiobooks using synthetic narration and digital replicas of human voices, aiming to combine AI efficiency with human-like quality. Kelly underscored the rising demand for audio content, especially in academic and rights-reverted sectors, and highlighted the importance of clear labelling for AI-produced content to maintain consumer trust.

Also, within the context of this last edition of Readmagine, some sessions focused on various aspects of audio. For instance, Stéphanie Simonin (Sales and Marketing Director at Bayard Jeunesse Audio) explained that this prominent French media company (Bayard Group) with a strong presence in children’s media has launched audio adaptations of its popular comics, creating a new genre called «Biddykids». This innovation involved engaging children through audio series with interactive elements and simultaneous distribution across all platforms to ensure broad accessibility.

Simonin referred to the “audio-first for manga” recent initiative, called «Natural Spirit» which represents an audio-first approach to this type of content, aiming to capture the essence of manga storytelling in an audio format. This project underscores the importance of visual marketing in audio content and the potential for cross-format expansion.

Raúl Pérez (Head of Digital of Planeta’s Publishing Division) presented the Planeta group data. Planeta has produced over 3000 audiobooks since 2017, targeting new audiences who may not traditionally buy books. Pérez emphasized the importance of understanding different platform dynamics and tailoring content to specific audience segments.

During the last professional meetings in Europe within the book fairs (Frankfurt and Bologna included) there were several forums where the presentations promote the idea of embracing audio as a publishing format. Many experts consider that audio offers European publishers a chance to diversify their offerings and grow their audience base.