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Audible lays off its original podcast staff; SVP Eric Nuzum resigns

A rattling shakeup is underway at Audible, the audiobook and audio content platform owned by Amazon. According to reporting by NPR, the entire podcast staff has been laid off. The podcast portfolio of that division produces over a dozen original shows which draw an aggregate listening audience in the millions, according to the NPR audio report.

Audible’s SVP of Original Content Development Eric Nuzum sent an email to friends yesterday, disclosing his resignation from Audible and sketching his plans for the future. Nuzum shared that email with RAIN News. In it, he evangelized Audible as a great company, expressed gratitude for the recognition and awards his team has won, and described his intention to set up his own company. Nuzum, who went to Audible from a VP/Programming role at NPR, did not give details of the new venture, except to say that it will initially involve consulting with creators. There’s more to it than that, he said, but no details yet. Nuzum is also writing a book.

There is still some uncertainty around the future of original podcasting at Audible, especially the fate of ongoing shows. In the Hot Pod newsletter, Nick Quah observes one key question, of whether programs like the highly produced The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson will strike out to new homes, or somehow remain in a new podcast strategy at Audible.

 

RAIN News Staff

22 Comments

  1. Apparently AWS throws off more cash in 10 seconds than Audible’s Podcast effort. Just a business decision with marginal payback for the foreseeable future….

  2. I was lucky enough to work with Eric Nuzum at NPR in the past. Great guy, wonderful to work with. I look forward to seeing what he does with a company of his own. If you’re trying to up your podcasting game, I would certainly consider hiring him as a consultant.

    Podcasting is a strange space in that many existing media companies haven’t found a good way to do it; and scrappy upstarts are having success with good content (albeit often with sub-professional production values while still being “good enough”).

    I suspect that eventually Audible will just be a “feature” of Amazon Prime; I get the feeling that Amazon doesn’t care much about the Audible brand (especially as a stand-alone brand).

  3. Audible should care about podcasting and want a stake in it. Listenership keeps going up every year and if they can hit on a few real good shows and beef up the ones the they have it will bring in more people to sample their audiobooks. I wish they were apart of prime because I pay a subscription fee to both.

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