Amazon Acquires Audible For $300 MillionBy: Doug Caverly - January 31, 2008
Some acquisitions are real headscratchers, leaving onlookers wondering why one company bought the other or how so much money became involved. It seems pretty reasonable, though, that Amazon has put around $300 million towards the purchase of Audible.
Audible is a provider of spoken word audio content, which fits well enough with Amazon’s traditional bookselling business. The key recent development is the introduction of Kindle; in the product description of what most people see as an ebook reader, one section points out, "With Kindle, you are able to download and enjoy thousands of audiobooks from Audible.com."
So some price adjustments or store integrations may occur as a result of the acquisition, although there’s no word on either front just yet. Meanwhile, Audible’s stock has jumped by about 20 percent, while Amazon’s remains slightly down after a less-than-stellar earnings report.
As for the future, Steve Kessel, Amazon’s senior vice president for worldwide digital media, was willing to state, "Audible.com offers the best customer experience, the widest content selection and the broadest device compatibility in the industry. Working together, we can introduce more innovations and bring this format to an even wider audience."
Keep a sharp eye out for Kindle 2.0, then, if the first generation didn’t suit your fancy (and perhaps even if it did).