Is "spokenword" a word? Regardless:
Amazon has increased its presence in the spokenword audio market,
announcing this morning that it has agreed to acquire Audible, Inc. the
country’s largest provider of digital downloads of spokenword audio.
Amazon is paying $11.50 per share and assuming Audible’s outstanding
stock-based awards, making the value of the deal about $300 million.
Audible’s stock price was at $9.33 the day before that deal was
announced, although its shares were selling at a 52-week high of $14.22
in November. The purchase is expected to close in the second quarter…
Founded by Don Katz, Audible has 160 employees and is based in
Newark, N.J. It has about 80,000 audio programs comprising almost
200,000 hours, and is the exclusive distributor of spokenword audio to
iTunes, owned by one of Amazon’s competitors, Apple. One issue that
will need to be addressed is DRM. Audible sells all of its content with
DRM protection, while Amazon has begun offering digital downloads of
music without DRM.