Is Audible Pushing German Publishers Into a Flat-Rate All-You-Can-Listen Streaming Service?

audible kindle unlimitedI still have more questions than answers about Audible's two-week-old spat with German book publishers, and now BuchReport.de has added to the confusion.

When I first reported on this story eleven days ago I suggested that Audible was trying to force the publishers to agree to new payment terms which included a flat royalty rate. That matched with Audible's actions last year, and it's what came out of Google Translate, but it's not what Buch Report is saying.

According to their report today as well as the comment Daniel Lenz left in the comment section of last week's post, Audible is pushing publishers into a new contract for a subscription service not unlike Kindle Unlimited.

While you might call Audible current service a subscription, it's really closer to a book-of-the-month club. The new one would reportedly be more like Kindle Unlimited or Scribd, each of which will let you read or stream as many ebook or audiobooks as you like.

Or at least that is what is being reported; I am passing along the information but I am having trouble believing it, myself. I would have thought we would hear similar reports from the US, but nothing has leaked.

Still, it's not impossible. Kindle Unlimited launched in July 2014 with a limited selection of audiobooks, and in April Amazon added audiobooks to the German branch of KU. And of course Scribd expanded its catalog in November with 30,000 audiobooks. They later added 9,000 audiobook titles from Penguin Random House.

So it is possible that Audible is pushing German publishers into a streaming service, and holding the threat of delisting over their heads? Yes.

But I still want to see more proof. For example, I want more details on the program, and I want specifics on the payment terms. At this point we have neither.

Stay tuned.

 

About Nate Hoffelder (11585 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

2 Comments on Is Audible Pushing German Publishers Into a Flat-Rate All-You-Can-Listen Streaming Service?

  1. This news is based on a story published by the magazine “Der Spiegel” (german text) last week. It was attested by several small publishers who are involved, so it seems to be true.

    • Actually, it was the week before last (on a Friday). I covered it at the time and found it to be woefully lacking in details.

      Yes, it told us something was going on, but not much more than that. That article did not offer enough detail for me to tell exactly what was going on. For all I knew, the real story had been garbled by Google translate or the Spiegel journalist.

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