Audible, the audiobook company owned by Amazon, has begun testing advertisements in its audiobooks. The experiment is currently limited to non-paying users, and the company claims it is “conducting limited testing” on a select user base with the advertisements. The ads pop up while listening to traditional audiobooks, podcasts, and Audible original content. However, paying subscribers are not currently affected by the change.
According to Audible, the ads will be limited to a maximum of eight within a 24-hour period, regardless of what the user is listening to. The company has informed the providers of the change and given them the option to opt out of ads. However, this move has raised concerns for many ad-averse consumers who have grown accustomed to paying for audiobooks in exchange for a pure ad-free experience.
The company has offered no clear reason for the experiment, but its help page stated, “Audible is dedicated to continuously optimizing how we deliver audio programming to listeners everywhere. From time to time, Audible tests new products and services to gain knowledge about the evolving needs of our customers and partners.”
The experiment has significant implications for the industry, indicating a potential shift in the approach towards advertising. It is worth noting that Spotify purchased audiobook distributor Findaway for $119 million a few years ago, and the company’s former Chief Content Officer suggested that they were “looking at bringing ad monetization into audiobooks.”
As the audiobook industry evolves, companies are looking for new ways to engage users and generate revenue. However, it remains to be seen how users will react to the inclusion of ads in audiobooks, and whether this experiment will eventually become a permanent fixture in the industry.