Harry Potter audiobooks reach one billion hours of play time

Harry Potter fans have listened to the audiobooks of the fantasy series for more than one billion hours on Audible, it has been announced.

The books were adapted into an eight-part film series by Warner Bros Pictures starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson and now the audio versions of the books, written by JK Rowling, were first made available on the platform seven years ago, with Stephen Fry famously narrating the UK editions and Jim Dale the US editions.

Pottermore Publishing said the milestone had been hit as it celebrates 10 years of digitally publishing the series about the young wizard Harry Potter.

For those of who love some fun context, the publishing house has said that in one billion hours you could listen to Harry Potter books one to seven as read by Dale 8,547,009 times, or hypothetically go through all seven years of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry more than 14,000 times.

‘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,’ commented actor and comedian Fry, who recently defended his friendship with Rowling.

‘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,’ he finished.

British actor, composer and Broadway star Dale added: ‘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.’

Over one billion hours of Harry Potter stories have now been listened to on Audible since the audiobooks were first made available on the platform seven years ago

The first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published in 1997, with the seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, published in 2007.

In 2015 Pottermore remastered the original English and German audio recordings of the books, and these were released on Audible that December.

Jennie McCann, managing director of Pottermore Publishing, admitted: ‘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 audio platform Audible, added: ‘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 honoured to be able to bring Harry Potter to listeners around the globe through our collaboration with Pottermore.’

The one billion listening hours have been calculated from measured consumption of the Harry Potter books one to seven in all Audible marketplaces globally in English, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Latin American Spanish, and Castilian Spanish.

Plus, don’t forget – you can also read the first book in Welsh, Ancient Greek and Latin, should you fancy.


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