Amazon Upgrades Whispersync to Offer Seamless Ebook to Audio Book Experience

[Press Release]

Amazon’s Whispersync for Voice Launches Upgraded Features

Now easier than ever for people to experience the life-changing technology that is rapidly becoming the way busy people read more

Corresponding Consumer Survey Reveals Reading Habits and ebook Adoption; 83% of Respondents Wish They Had More Time to Read

Audible and Amazon today announced upgrades to the revolutionary technology Whispersync for Voice that will make it easier than ever for anyone who owns a Kindle book to try the innovation that is changing the way busy people read books.  With Whispersync for Voice, owners of Kindle books can switch seamlessly between reading an ebook and listening to the professionally narrated Audible audiobook on any smartphone or tablet—always picking up exactly where they left off.

Amazon and Audible have doubled the number of titles that support Whispersync for Voice, and have launched several features to help Kindle readers quickly and easily access this powerful technology. Audible’s new Matchmaker feature will find those titles in any Kindle user’s library that are Whispersync for Voice-enabled, and allow users to upgrade those books by adding narration with one click. A simplified checkout process for new purchases similarly requires just one click to add audio to a Whispersync for Voice-enabled Kindle title. Total available Whispersync for Voice titles now number over 30,000, with new titles being added every day, giving readers even more choice—and more control over how they experience their books.

“Whispersync for Voice customers continue to marvel at how this innovation has changed their lives,” said Audible founder and CEO Donald Katz. “Some customers love the feature so much that they are now only buying books that are Whispersync for Voice-enabled.  Whether commuting to work, driving to a soccer game, taking a road trip, exercising or making dinner, Whispersync for Voice allows people to continue enjoying books even when their eyes are busy, so a great story can continue throughout an active day. It truly is the future of reading.”

The results of a consumer survey conducted by Sodahead.com, the web’s largest opinion-based community, shows that people wish they had more time to read and confirms that that ebook use is prevalent. According to the SodaHead poll:
·         83% of respondents stated that they wish they had more time to read; 92% of those between ages 13-17 wish they had more time to read, showing that younger people have a strong desire to spend more time with  books
·         ebooks are not just being read at home, as 40% of respondents who read ebooks are doing so while commuting, traveling, at the gym or at the beach.  As consumption of books outside the home and on the go increases, Whispersync for Voice technology becomes a powerful tool, making it easy and safe to keep up with a good book when eyes are focused on something else, including the road.
·         47% of respondents have purchased an ebook in the past year and 28% have listened to an audiobook within the past six months
·         When choosing an actor to read an audiobook, respondents overwhelmingly chose Samuel L. Jackson amongst the options, with 59% of the vote, followed by Colin Firth at 12% and Anne Hathaway at 9%
·         48% of respondents said that they would like to upgrade to a technology, such as Whispersync for Voice, that would let them switch between reading and listening without losing their spot, showcasing that there is strong consumer interest in the technology
Whispersync for Voice was invented by Amazon and Audible as a way to insert the myriad intellectual and emotional benefits of books into all available moments of a busy life. To switch back and forth between reading and listening, all you need is a smartphone or tablet. Next time you buy a Kindle book, simply follow the Whispersync for Voice prompt on the purchase page to add the narration and activate the pairing (when available), and your ebook and audiobook will be automatically synchronized. When you stop reading the ebook on your Kindle, you can switch to listening to the corresponding audiobook on your smartphone once you select the title in your library—and the audio will begin wherever you left off in the text. To identify Kindle books already in your library that are enabled for Whispersync for Voice, simply activate Audible’s new Matchmaker feature by visiting amazon.com/matchmaker to see a list of available titles you can upgrade with audio with just one click.

Over one million Whispersync for Voice-enabled titles have been downloaded since launch; 70% of the current New York Times bestseller list supports this feature.
All Audible titles are professionally narrated; Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, Anne Hathaway, Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson, Annette Bening, Claire Danes, Diane Keaton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Meg Ryan, Hilary Swank, Jennifer Connelly and Susan Sarandon are among the luminaries who have recently performed audiobooks for Audible.

ABOUT AUDIBLE, INC.
Audible, Inc., an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the world’s largest seller and producer of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken-word information, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. Audible’s mission is to establish literate listening as a core tool for anyone seeking to be more productive, better informed, or more thoughtfully entertained. Audible content comprises more than 150,000 audio programs from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers. Audible is also the preeminent provider of spoken-word audio products for Apple’s iTunes® Store.

2 thoughts on “Amazon Upgrades Whispersync to Offer Seamless Ebook to Audio Book Experience

  1. Pingback: Faber Factory Amazon Upgrades Whispersync to Offer Seamless Ebook to Audio Book Experience - Faber Factory

  2. Michael W. Perry

    \Now easier than ever …\ is marketing speak for \yes, the old version was a pain to use but this is better.\

    I know about the former. I bought a couple of Whispersync\ titles and never did figure out how to switch reliably between the two. I’ve found text-to-speech on my Kindle 3 much easier to use, even if it sounds robotic. The urge to sell more Whispersync audiobooks may be why Amazon has removed text-to-speech from later models. It’d probably cost only pennies to include it.

    Hopefully someone will give the new features a more objective review, one with a bit more content. Reading press releases is like eating too-sweet ice cream.

    Amazon is quite aggressive at improving its products and services. These new features might actually be quite good, but it’s hard to see that through the hype.

    Reply

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