Penguin Random House Joins Scribd on Audiobooks

Penguin Random House Scribd subscription ebooks audiobooks OysterWhen Hachette and Penguin Random House joined in the launch of Oyster’s ebookstore last week, both made it clear they have no intention of putting their ebooks on the subscription model.

But who said anything about audiobooks?

Adding 9,000 digital audiobook titles to Scribd’s catalog, Penguin Random House deepens its collaboration with the major subscription-based content services.

Scribd launched its audiobook segment in November last year with more than 30,000 titles. That number has since grown to over 45,000, and Scribd says it’s seeing audiobooks helping to fuel ebook reading on the platform.

Much more.

Related: How Ebook and Audiobook Consumption Intersect

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iBooks to Add Audiobook Streaming (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
As part of the next iOS update, Apple will reportedly add a digital audiobook streaming feature to the iBooks app. Details remain scarce and unconfirmed, including the question of whether the audiobooks section of iTunes will undergo any changes a a result. Apple memorably told Digital Book World 2015 attendees that it was adding 1 million new iBooks customers every week around last holiday season.

Simon & Schuster Adds Ebooks to Playster (DBW)
Following HarperCollins’s lead, Simon & Schuster adds back-list ebooks to the Canadian start-up’s subscription-access catalog. Playster, currently in beta, offers users a range of multimedia like video and games in addition to ebooks for $15.95 a month.

HarperCollins Bets on Higher-Priced Ebooks (Pub Lunch)
With the ink still wet on its Amazon contract and freshly back on the agency model of ebook pricing, HarperCollins appears to be already resetting prices higher than many of its competitors’ titles. Publishers Lunch finds most of the publisher’s ebook editions of front-list hardcovers cost around $14.99.

Google Faces Antitrust Charges in Europe (NYT)
As many had expected would happen, European Union authorities formally open an investigation into Google’s alleged anticompetitive practices with regard to its roles in search and mobile.
Related: Sizing up Android in Mobile E-Reading

New Leadership at Wiley (PW)
Steve Smith retires as CEO and President of John Wiley & Sons after four years in that role and 23 years with the company. He will be succeeded by COO Mark Allin.

ALA Finds More Diversity Brings More Objections (Teleread—Infographic)
The American Library Association shares troubling findings from a recent study that suggest the share of diverse content in the most frequently challenged books has grown in recent years. While that could mean there are simply more diverse titles on the market for libraries and schools to object to, it could also mean that efforts at restricting access to material are increasingly zeroing in on those factors.

Do Sales Tell a Partial Story in Academic Market? (The Scholarly Kitchen)
Some say there are many forms of engagement with digital content, especially within libraries and institutions, that aren’t captured by the available sales data. Academic publishing expert Joseph Esposito takes a considered look at those claims and explains what they could mean for future growth in the space.

IPR License Partners with SAGE (STM Publishing News—Press Release)
The global rights platform adds SAGE Publishing to its roster of publishing partners. Katherine Ryan, Global Head of Rights and Licensing at SAGE says in an announcement that the partnership is intended, among other things, to help SAGE “further develop our presence within foreign language publishing.”
Related: Tom Chalmers of IPR License on Lessons from STM Publishing


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