Audiobook Industry News and Features
The Wall Street Journal reports Apple and Amazon end their exclusive agreement for the supply and distribution of audiobooks, under pressure from European Union antitrust regulators.
One of the biggest trends in the audiobook industry has been companies developing a respectable podcast portfolio in order to drive listeners to become paid audiobook customers, says Goodreader.com's blog. Audible and TuneIn Radio are dominating the US market, but in 2017 smaller regional players are likely going to develop similar business models.
Borrowing audiobooks from libraries increases in 2016! Overdrive has reported that in 2016 readers borrowed 196 million digital books, an increase of 21% over 2015. In a blog, Goodreader.com reports that of the 678 million visits to library and school websites, readers borrowed more eBooks (+16%) and audiobooks (+34%) from their local and school libraries digital catalog compared to last year.
Goodreader.com's blog describes how Hoopla has been focusing heavily on the digital library space. For the past four years the company has experienced massive growth. They now have 600,000 audiobooks, comics and e-books in their catalog and circulation has more than doubled over the past year, with transactions jumping from 1.5 million in 2015 to 6.3 million in 2016.
Techradar.com reports that Sonos is teaming up with leading nonvisual book purveyor Audiobooks.com to allow audiobook subscribers access to over 100,000 spoken books from their speaker system. The program underwent beta testing late last year, and is now available to the public.
Stockholm is currently testing a KTH-made system (EVAM) that interrupts in-car audio with a voice warning when ambulances are close by and responding to a crisis. Goodreader.com reports on this potential new feature.
A unique copy of the first full-length audiobook ever made; a set of four LPs recorded in 1935 with the full text of Joseph Conrad's 1902 novella Typhoon, has been rediscovered in Canada. TheGuardian.com reports that the hunt continues for surviving copies of more of the earliest titles, including The Gospel According to St. John, and Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroid.