Harry Potter fans listen to Audible audiobooks for one billion hours

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

Audio versions of the books, written by JK Rowling, were first made available on the platform seven years ago, with Stephen Fry narrating the UK editions and Jim Dale narrating the US ones.

Pottermore Publishing said the milestone has been reached as it celebrates 10 years of digital publishing of the series about the young wizard Harry Potter.

The publisher said that in a billion hours you could hear Harry Potter books one through seven read by Dale 8,547,009 times, or hypothetically go through Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry more than 14,000 times.

Stephen Fry talks about UK editions of audiobooks (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Fry said: “These statistics are astounding. Almost every day someone comes up to me and tells me how important audiobooks have been in their lives, and it means a lot 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 established itself as the publishing phenomenon of our age, the experience was never anything less than total and eternally surprising joy for me.

“Hooray Harry and hooray for all those listeners.”

Dale added: “Living with the ever expanding Harry Potter family over the past twenty years has been such a joy.

“Especially gratifying for me was the opportunity to touch the lives of so many young people and the knowledge that my spoken words brought comfort and support when needed and, of course, always lots of magic.”

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, released in 2007.

The books were adapted into an eight-part film series by Warner Bros Pictures starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson.

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

Harry Potter book

The first novel was published in 1997 (Danny Lawson/PA)

Jennie McCann, managing director of Pottermore Publishing, said: “It continues to amaze and delight us that listeners of all types have made a permanent place in their lives for these audio stories.

“The original audiobook narratives are beloved versions of these incredible stories, so we took great care when remastering from CD to deliver the best sound quality and experience possible for a new generation of listeners.

“We are grateful to Audible for taking these iconic recordings and making them brilliantly accessible, and we join 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 Harry Potter audiobooks on Audible is both astounding and, at the same time, hardly surprising.

“These unparalleled and beloved stories transport and engage listeners through immersive and powerful audio magic.

“We are honored to be able to bring Harry Potter to listeners around the world through our partnership with Pottermore.”

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

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