Audioboom platform another audiobook sales driver

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Princeton Junction, NJ, United States (4E) – Digital publishers are attributing rising sales on downloadable audiobooks to lower pricing.

Sales of digital downloads of audiobooks rose about 18 percent in 2013 based on preliminary sales estimates from the Association of American Publishers (AAP). Audiobooks in digital download format represented nearly two-thirds of total audiobook units sold and more than half the industry’s revenue in 2012, according to the Audio Publishers Association, the first and only non-profit trade organization of the audiobook industry in the U.S.

AAP said sales continue to grow in early 2014 with member Macmillan Audio’s president and publisher Mary Beth Roche describing the growth as tremendous and Hachette Audio vice president and publisher Anthony Goff labeling it as “fantastic.”

Goff said price is the big sales driver but he and Amanda D’Acierno, senior vice president and publisher at Penguin Random House Audio, agree that audio format is also a key to the sustained growth.

“Downloads have brought in an amazing new range of listeners and are expanding the pool,” said Mary Beth Roche, president and publisher of Macmillan Audio, according to Publishers Weekly.

Market researcher IBISWorld estimates the audiobook publishing market to be $2 billion with a 12 percent annual growth rate from 2008 to 2013. New technologies that make audiobooks increasingly convenient and easy to listen to has stimulated the growth of the industry during the period, IBISWorld said.

One example is the 2009-released OverDrive Media Console for Windows Mobile, which enables users with Windows Mobile phones to wirelessly download audiobooks, music, and video to their devices and play the titles with the same superior navigation features of OverDrive’s desktop software. OverDrive is a leading global distributor of digital audiobooks and eBooks to libraries and retailers with a catalog of more than 1.8 million digital titles from more than 1,000 publishers.

And there is Audioboo, an audio-sharing social media platform owned by London-based Audioboom Group PLC (BOOM.L).

The Audioboo platform allows audiobook publishers to widen their reach globally through mobile apps, embeddable players and Facebook and Twitter sharing. The software allows media partners to embed clips and playlists on their websites and a variety of online applications for web sharing. The shareable contents include sports, entertainment and news reports, as well as commentaries and brief interviews.

About 80,000 new users register on Audioboo’s official page per month to access news and music in audio format coming from more than 1,000 content channels of Audioboom’s more 800 content partners. Each Audioboo user spends an average of 18 minutes on the website.

Audioboom has partnered with CBS Radio Limited and Sky Sports Limited to share music and news listened to by the former’s 72 million followers in the U.S. and the latter’s 10.5 million households in the U.K. and Ireland.

Audioboom also allows publishers to generate revenues from ads and can use the app to share snippets of their new releases, a way music artists capitalizes on to sell new albums.

Audioboom trades on the London Stock Exchange. Its stocks closed at $0.09 or 5.54 pence per share on Friday.

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