Harry Potter fans have listened to the 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 available on the platform seven years ago, with Stephen Fry narrating the UK editions and Jim Dale the US editions.
Pottermore Publishing said the milestone has been reached as it celebrates 10 years of digital publishing of the young wizard Harry Potter series.
The publisher said that in one billion hours you could listen to 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.
Fry said: “These statistics are amazing. Almost every day, someone will come up and tell me how important audiobooks have been in their lives, and it means the world to me.
“From the first book, when Harry Potter was all there was 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 but a total joy and forever surprising. for me.
Dale added: “Living with the ever-expanding Harry Potter family for the past twenty years has been a joy.
“Especially rewarding for me has been the opportunity to touch the lives of so many young people and knowing that my spoken words have brought so much comfort and support when needed, and of course, always so much magic.”
The first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published in 1997, and the seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was published 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, and these were released on Audible in December.
Jennie McCann, managing director of Pottermore Publishing, said: “It continues to amaze 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 treasured versions of these incredible stories, so we took great care when remastering them from CD to provide the best possible sound quality and experience for a new generation of listeners.
“We are grateful to Audible for taking these iconic recordings and making them extraordinarily accessible, and to join them in celebrating this extraordinary and unprecedented milestone.”
Diana Dapito, head of consumer content at Audible’s audio platform, added: “The evergreen popularity and voracious appetite for Harry Potter audiobooks on Audible is both amazing and unsurprising.
“These unmatched and beloved stories transport and engage listeners through captivating 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 one billion listening hours were calculated from measured consumption of Harry Potter books one through seven across all Audible markets globally in English, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Latin American Spanish and Castilian Spanish.