Pottermore Publishing and Audible have announced an extraordinary milestone – over one billion hours of the Harry Potter stories have now been listened to on Audible globally, since the audiobooks were first made available there seven years ago. This benchmark has been reached as Pottermore celebrates 10 years of innovative digital publishing and shows that listening to the Harry Potter stories is truly a part of everyday life for millions of people around the globe, many of whom return to the audio editions again and again.
To put the listening figure into perspective, in one billion hours you could hypothetically:
- Take the iconic train journey from King’s Cross to Edinburgh 222 million times
- Listen to Harry Potter books 1-7 read by Jim Dale 8,547,009 times
- Go through Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry more than 14,000 times!
The original and beloved narrations of the stories, by Jim Dale (in the North American version) and Stephen Fry (in the UK and rest of the world in English language), were first launched on Audible in 2015. Stephen Fry said:
‘These statistics are astonishing. Almost every day someone will come up and tell me how important the audiobooks have been in their lives, and it means the world to me. From the first book, when it was all there was of Harry Potter in the world, to the final novel when the series had confirmed itself as THE publishing phenomenon of our age, the experience was never anything other than a total and eternally surprising joy for me. Hurrah for Harry and hurrah for all those listeners.’
Jim Dale said:
‘Living with the ever expanding Harry Potter family over these past twenty years has been such a joy. Especially rewarding for me has been the opportunity to touch the lives of so many young people, and the knowledge that my spoken words have brought both comfort and support when needed, and, of course always, so much magic!’
Jennie McCann, MD of Pottermore Publishing said:
‘It continues to astound and delight us that listeners of all kinds have made a permanent place in their lives for these audio stories. The original audiobook narrations are cherished versions of these incredible stories, so we took great care when remastering them from CD to deliver the best sound quality and experience possible for the new generation of listeners. We’re grateful to Audible for taking these iconic recordings and making them brilliantly accessible, and join with them in celebrating this extraordinary and unprecedented milestone.’
Diana Dapito, Head of Consumer Content at Audible said:
‘The evergreen popularity and insatiable appetite for the Harry Potter audiobooks on Audible is both staggering and, at once, not at all surprising. These unparalleled, beloved stories transport and engage listeners through immersive, powerful audio magic. We are honored to be able to bring ‘Harry Potter’ to listeners around the globe through our collaboration with Pottermore.’
Founded in 2012, Pottermore began life as a free-to-use website featuring an immersive experience and Harry Potter reading companion, coupled with an e-commerce offering – a place for consumers to buy the previously unavailable Harry Potter eBooks and digital audiobooks directly. By the beginning of 2013 there were over 8 million registered users, 30 billion page views, and 100 million games played on the Pottermore website. The online shop also proved extremely successful; however, as the commercial and technology landscape changed, and customers wanted to listen via the audio companies where they already shopped, so Pottermore evolved too, and adopted an ‘Open Commerce’ model, working with vendors such as Amazon to sell the digital books directly. In 2015 Pottermore remastered the original English and German audio recordings of the Harry Potter books, and these were released on Audible that November.