Amazon Acquires Audible
How does Audible.com celebrate "ten years of great listening"? By being acquired by Amazon Here's the official press release and here's a related story from The Wall Street Journal.
Audible has been an Amazon partner for quite awhile but I'd like to speculate for a moment about what this acquisition might mean in the long term. First of all, how might the Kindle play into this? Maybe down the road we'll see a Kindle that has this hybrid functionality built into it. Or, what if you don't own a Kindle but you'd like to have the audio version of the Amazon book you bought yesterday or last year? Could Amazon extend their Upgrade program to include Audible content as well?
Knowing Amazon, they probably have even bigger and better ideas in mind. Either way, I like the potential new product offerings that could result from this acquisition.
I'm curious whether this ends Audible's partnership with iTunes and whether iTunes will start working with publishers directly. It definitely intensifies Amazon's rivalry with iTunes. Amazon has been winning me over with their wider array of DRM-free tracks and 89-cent pricing.
Posted by: Andrew | January 31, 2008 at 12:10 PM
Hi Andrew. I read in one of the other postings that Audible's deal with iTunes goes into 2010. Of course there may be some language in that agreement that allows either party to wiggle out if the other party is acquired... And you're right to cite the DRM aspect of this. Amazon is definitely heading away from DRM (at least for music!), but their Kindle content is obviously distributed with a very tight wrapper.
Posted by: Joe Wikert | January 31, 2008 at 01:27 PM
That is really surprising. I thought audible.com was doing really well on its own. More important than kindle, is agreements that Amazon may make with Playaway, a self-playing audiobook which is quite expensive. A lot of libraries really like this technology. These things cost close to $30 each.
Posted by: Book Calendar | February 02, 2008 at 01:17 AM