Following hot on the heels of Random House’s announcement that they were to sell audiobook downloads DRM free now comes the news that Penguin are to follow the same route. We predicted in the Brave New World report that audio would be a natural format for digital downloading and its heartening to finally see they opportunity coming to fruition.
It still remains a mystery why Penguin pulled out of the 3music experiment but that is now history. It is almost certain that the audiobook download market is sprinting towards DRM free and following the music market trend. This is great news for the existing channel and as we said last week is an interesting dilemma for the new Amazon Audible Brilliance audio partnership.
Two other issues now need to be grappled with; pricing and rights. However the market will ultimately sort the price points and this should be viewed by authors as a great opportunity to promote and sell more works.
We now believe that 2008 will be a tipping point for digital audiobooks and although it will take time for the market to get up to speed the DRM shackles have finally been lifted. Let’s face it the CDs were DRM free anyway!