Audible is one of the most popular audio book stores on the internet and since starting in 1995 has taken the world by storm with its constant innovation and startup vibe that’s hard to match. Audiobooks took off immediately as a concept. The initial furor though threatened to fade when CEO at the time Andrew Huffman suffered a heart attack and there were rumours that the company would undergo major setbacks. However, their development on products continued unabated and eventually the company scored big time when they landed an exclusive deal with Apple to sell their books on the ITunes music store. Eventually the company began attracting a lot of interests because it’s Audiobooks, which were being produced both through sourcing and exclusive development besides being consumed through multiple sources such as mobile phones, tablets and PDA’s.
Audible’s success continued with the Audible Air introduction in 2005; a software which allowed the firm to download audio books over the air – both wirelessly and directly to devices such as smart phones and PDA’s. This solved a major conundrum for the users, who had struggled with the long process of first downloading the audio books to their phone and then eventually downloading to their phones.
A major hallmark and reason why the firm has been able to oust the competition and gain so much pace in the industry is because they have over 200,000 audio programs that were compiled from leading sources of publications such as broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers and business information providers. Besides paying ala carte for the products, Audible also offers users the chance to acquire subscriptions and avail the following benefits:
• Credits: By opting for a monthly subscription, the customer is given one or two audio credits and they can purchase any title they fancy using this credit. Bigger titles may cost two credits, while some may only cost one third of a credit. Users can also opt for a whole year’s subscription, which allows them to save with a special discount whilst platinum subscribers also receive a complimentary subscription to the digital audio version The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal.
• Subscriber Discount: Subscribers can also choose to purchase additional books without credits for a 30% discount.
While most of the premium content is not available for free, there is some particular content that is available for free without any extra charges whatsoever including the likes of political speeches, government hearings, content such as the 9/11 Report Speech, excerpts, and short stories from books.
The process is overall simple and once a customer has purchased a title on audible, they can store in their library and downloaded at one’s leisure. Furthermore, if the user doesn’t feel like downloading the file, it can always be listened to online on the website regardless of the fact whether it has been downloaded before.
Subsequently, since their takeover by Amazon in 2008, the company has gone from strength to strength and has taken particular advantage of the world-wide smart phone penetration; leading to further growth in this extremely competitive online field.