The ebook soundtracking start-up Booktrack yesterday introduced monetization and embedding functionality to its platform.
The move turns Booktrack into a retailer for what it considers to be “a new ebook genre,” according to the company’s Co-founder and CEO Paul Cameron: the ebook enhanced with immersive audio.
Booktrack’s soundtrack-generating tools remains free to use and thousands of its titles free to read, but now authors and publishers can sell Booktrack-enhanced titles inside the platform. About 150 such titles are currently available for purchase, and Cameron says that figure “is set to rapidly grow.”
Authors and publishers maintain full control over pricing, but most paid Booktrack titles wind up costing $2–3 more than the price of a comparable, unenhanced ebook. As Cameron explains, Booktrack offers content creators “market rates for the sales of their ebooks plus an additional 30% of the soundtrack revenue.”
In addition to the monetization option, Booktrack adds a function allowing users to embed complete, soundtrack-enabled titles into webpages. The feature seems designed to showcase Booktrack’s product outside the platform and is being billed as a way for authors to let readers “experience their stories in a new, immersive way.”
Multimedia is tentatively edging into closer proximity with traditional book content in a number of ways, from expanded video marketing efforts and content offerings to ebooks’ coexistence with TV, games and audiobooks on subscription platforms.
But from a content perspective, enhanced ebooks are a different story altogether. Despite ample and persistent skepticism, Cameron has been bullish on the format and explicit about what, in his view, it takes to do it right. No form of multimedia enhancement, Cameron says, should ever “take away from the story—it should add to it, deepen it, amplify it, and do so in a way that never disrupts the flow of a narrative.”
Booktrack says its community of “engaged readers” now exceeds two million. Since closing a $3 million round of fundraising in April 2014, the start-up has opened a new Toronto office and hired a chief marketing officer and VP of publishing and is pursuing further opportunities to expand globally.
BOOKTRACK LAUNCHES NEW MONETIZATION FUNCTIONALITY FOR AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS
Trailblazing eBook Soundtrack Company Now Provides Opportunity to Market & Sell to More Than Two Million Readers
SAN FRANCISCO – (April 29, 2015) – Booktrack (www.booktrack.com), an industry leading global technology company that enhances the eBook experience by adding movie-style soundtracks and ambient audio to eBooks, today announced that publishers and self-publishers are now able to sell their Booktrack titles through the site. This is the latest enhancement to the innovative Booktrack platform, which has enabled the publishing of more than 12,000 titles in 30 different languages, and is an unparalleled opportunity for authors to expand their reach to the Booktrack reader base of more than two million users—a number that has doubled in size every quarter since launch.
In addition to the new revenue stream available to publishers and authors, Booktrack is also launching a new embeddable feature, Booktrack Embed, which lets authors embed a full-featured Booktrack title, complete with soundtrack, into any website—just like dropping in a YouTube video. Author examples are available online here. Booktrack authors and publishers can now showcase their Booktracked titles on their own websites and social streams, helping their fans to experience their stories in a new, immersive way.
“Today, readers around the world will be able to buy Booktrack eBooks and enjoy a unique and immersive reading experience with a soundtrack across most of their favorite titles and on all of their devices–tablets, computers, and smartphones,” said Paul Cameron, CEO & Founder of Booktrack. “Booktrack is a new category unto its own. By making the Booktrack platform easily accessible to create, read and sell, we hope to engage a whole new audience of not only readers and writers, but also of music and media lovers. Maybe we can even get teens and young adults to put down that device or video game controller and read a book — with a soundtrack!”
Recent studies show that teens and young adults are spending upwards of six-and-a-half hours in front of screens each day (Source: Childwise). This time is spent watching TV, playing a videogame, or using a mobile device for another service such as streaming video. As such, Booktrack also has plans to further expand its education offering later in 2015, launching new tools designed to encourage reading and writing. Booktrack’s reach already extends to the classroom, where it has been proven to dramatically improve student literacy. Independent research shows that Booktrack increases reading comprehension and retention by 17%, and reader engagement by 30% (Sources: NYU and The University of Auckland). More than 6,000 educators around the world have adopted the Booktrack Classroom application to help thousands of students to better engage with creative writing, essays, novels, and poetry studies.
The company has also increased its global presence, recently opening a new office in Toronto, and expanding the executive team with two new hires based out of Toronto office: Liz Ridout, who joined the company as Chief Marketing Officer, and Cameron Drew, who joined as Vice President of Publishing – both bringing with them significant success and experience in the digital eBook market.
The announcement of these new product services arrives on the heels of an impressive first year on the market, which included a $3 million Series A funding round that closed early in 2014. With the launch of the monetization platform, embeddable content feature and star talent acquisitions, Booktrack continues that momentum into 2015. In addition to its selection of paid titles, Booktrack will continue to offer thousands of free Booktrack short stories and novels.
For more information about the Booktrack platform, please visit the Booktrack site www.booktrack.com, or follow the company on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about Booktrack’s new monetization and embeddable features, please visit: https://www.booktrack.com/#!/landing/sell and http://support.booktrack.com/hc/en-us/articles/204022514-New-Booktrack-Embed-Option.
Booktrack (www.booktrack.com), is an industry leading global technology company that synchronizes movie-style soundtracks and ambient sounds to eBooks. Music, ambient audio, and sound effects are automatically paced to an individual’s reading speed and synchronized to complement and enhance the story while a person reads increasing comprehension and enjoyment. More than 2 million readers get instant access to thousands of stories, while authors and publishers can easily create their own Booktrack titles by matching their stories to an extensive library of over 20,000 free-to-use music and ambient audio tracks.
Backed by investors including Peter Thiel and Weta Digital, Booktrack is a disruptive force in the publishing and audio world, equivalent to how the introduction of sound transformed the experience of film forever. The Booktrack application is available from www.booktrack.com and in the Apple App Store, Google Play and Google Chrome Stores.