There has been a lot of news and innovation in the publishing industry as of late. The iPad and the Kindle have been entering houses at record rates and is bringing entire libraries into a touch screen tablet. Apple also recently released iBooks 2 and iBook Authors to allow people to independently publish textbook content on the iOS platform in order to lighten the financial and physical load for students.
And one other area that is growing and has room to process even further is the world of audio books.
The Association of American Publishers released some data a few months ago that showed, that the net sales revenue for publishers has grown annually -- with 2010 reaching $27.9 billion (a 5.6% increase over 2008) and $7 million of that came from audio books.
Several companies have been specializing in the downloadable content of audio books that fit easily on any mobile device that music is stored on. One such company, Audiobook.com, is setting up an all-you-can stream option starting Wednesday for a flat fee of $25 per month.
This Toronto-based company is building its Netflix-for-books service so that people that love to listen to their books, can consume that media much like we do on premium video-content sites.
The $25 a month fee allows users to stream audio books onto any computer or mobile device through the Audiobooks.com HTML5 web app.
“We believe our ability to empower users to stream from anywhere using a mobile device, the cloud-based bookmarking function and the affordable access to unlimited streaming of thousands of bestsellers will transform the way customers use audio books,” chief executive Sanjay Singhal said in a statement.
The new service gives users access to thousands of popular titles using an Internet-enabled mobile device such as an iPhone, iPad, Android and its cloud-based book marking feature enables users to mark their place across all devices without using a browser plug-in or application.
Audiobooks.com's major competitor Audible, which is integrated into iTunes, has similar monthly plans, but you are limited to a set number of books — one title for $15 a month, two titles for $23 a month.
Considering a monthly Netflix steaming subscription costs $8 a month, the price for these audio books cost is substantial but would be worth it to people going through a lot of content since some audio books are priced at $29 or $35 each. For instance, the Steve Jobs biography costs $35 on Audible.
Audiobooks.com, which was founded in 2011, give users access more than 10,000 best sellers.
As a constant communter, I am always downloading audio books to listen on the train and would love to have unlimited access to books on my wishlist but I would find it externally annoying that I have to have an internet connection to stream the content rather than downloading it and listening wherever, whenever.
I love the idea but the fuctionality leaves a lot to be desired.