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A-list actors drawn into new Audible/Treefort Media content alliance

Audio giant Audible is sending around notice of a development and production deal with audio storytelling company Treefort Media, to produce original scripted audio series. Described as a “first-look development and production deal,” three shows are starting production now, each one featuring known film actors. To our eyes, they appear primed for video/TV crossover. Continue Reading

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Audible makes changes to its maligned audiobook royalty rules

When was the last time you returned a book you purchased? If it was an audiobook you bought in Amazon-owned Audible, you might have benefited from a relaxed and encouraging returns policy which allows a listener to trade one audiobook for another within a year from purchase. Great for customers; bad for authors and publishers (and some voice performers) whose royalty statements were filled with deductions from payments received months earlier. There has been clamor for change. At the new year, Amazon has responded. Click through for the story. Continue Reading

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Audible becomes more podcast-y with more shows, while retaining its image as curator

Audible has branched out to the open podcast realm, announcing an addition of 100,000 free shows. These podcasts appear in the Audible app and presumably can be heard by non-subscribers. This is a fairly big movement for the Amazon-owned Audible, a hardline subscription business. But it’s only 100,000 shows in a universe of 1.5-million, and a search for known shows came up empty. Continue Reading

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Amazon acquires podcast.com and podcasting.com

In a blockbuster domain acquisition which indicates strategic purpose, Amazon has acquired the domains podcast.com and podcsting.com, we learned from Podnews. The domains lead to the Audible landing page for podcasts. Audible does not distribute public podcasts via RSS, but it does create originals. This is a land grab by Amazon-owned Audible, and it seems like the company is creating a unique category definition and experience of audio storytelling. Continue Reading

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Jeff Umbro: Lemonada Media Moves to Stitcher’s Midroll for Ad Sales, an interview with CEO Jessica Cordova Kramer

by Jeff Umbro

In this week’s column, Podglomerate CEO Jeff Umbro provides news and commentary about Lemonada’s ad rep move, Joe Budden’s apparent separation from Spotify, Audible’s new plan, Joe Rogan and Apple … and an interview with Jessica Cordova Kramer. Continue Reading

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Audible launches Plus subscription, less expensive than existing plan, for access to exclusives

In a peculiar reversal of standard audio subscription value and price points, and a demonstration of Audible’s often-overlooked power in audio publishing, the Amazon-owned company has launced Audible Plus, a subscription plan the provides access to the entire Audible Original library (audiobooks and podcasts) of 68,000 productions. It costs $7.95 per month. The legacy subscription bundles the traditional audiobook catalog with Audible’s original productions for $14.95. It is a dramatic example of Audible’s unique consumer economics and value propositions. Continue Reading