The NY Times reports that Amazon's latest PR campaign centers on a $5 million fund for creating audio works:
Audible, the digital audiobook giant, announced Tuesday that it would create a $5 million fund to commission new works from emerging playwrights — not for the stage, but for people’s headphones and speakers.
As audio fiction seems to be having a moment, in the realm of podcasts, Audible plans to draw from the vast pool of young writers to create one- or two-person plays. They will be available beginning late this year, the company said.
Playwrights can apply for grants to cover both “industry standards” for new commissions and the cost of production, said Donald R. Katz, Audible’s chief executive and a former journalist and author.
“I’m hoping that people just come out of the woodwork,” Mr. Katz said.
The program is going to fund around a dozen playwrights to start.
“They’re actually getting paid to write a play,” Leigh Silverman, a member of the advisory board, said of the grant recipients. “That’s a rare thing, and it’s an important thing.”
Audible has ben funding original content since at least 2013, so aside from the publicity angle it's not clear how much of this is new. (I have queried Audible on that question, and am awaiting a response.)
image by ActuaLitté