Amazon’s AudioBook Store Goes Live As e-Tailer Prepares for Downloads

November 1, 2007
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November 1 – November 8, 2007 Edition

Amazon’s AudioBook
Store Goes Live As e-Tailer
Prepares for Downloads

SEATTLE, WA/10/31/07–Amazon.com‘s new audiobook store, is now up and running. The online retailer soon will begin selling downloadable audiobooks in addition to books on cassettes and CDs and DRM-free MP3. The audiobook store joins similar Amazon services, such as DRM-free MP3 music downloads and CDs. Amazon has not yet officially announced the audiobook download capability, but the move is expected soon.

Amazon recently acquired Brilliance Audio and is featuring its titles in the store. The new audiobook store lets users access titles by genre and new and notable listings, and to access related material such as book reviews and blog sites.

Amazon already offers EMI Music’s digital music catalog. Every song and album in the Amazon.com digital music store is available exclusively in the MP3 format without digital rights management (DRM) software. Amazon’s DRM-free MP3s frees customers to play their music on virtually any of their personal devices — including PCs, Macs(TM), iPods(TM), Zunes(TM), Zens(TM) — and to burn songs to CDs for personal use. A similar convenience may be offered for audiobooks, though more digital rights management restrictions may apply in the book arena.

“Our MP3-only strategy means all the music that customers buy on Amazon is always DRM-free and plays on any device,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO, when he announced the music store in May.”

About Amazon.com

Amazon.com, Inc., (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as health and personal care, jewelry and watches, gourmet food, sports and outdoors, apparel and accessories, books, music, DVDs, electronics and office, toys and baby, and home and garden.

Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, and www.joyo.com.

Amazon has taken another step further into the audiobook market by adding a featured audiobook store to its Web site, fueling speculation that the online retailer will sell downloadable audiobooks at some point. Amazon has long sold traditional audio formats on cassette and CD (and tracked top sellers) and partnered with Audible.com to offer downloads of select audiobook titles. Amazon currently offers DRM-free MP3 music downloads as well.

But the new audiobook store brings tighter focus to the spoken-word audio category and gives prominence to titles from recent Amazon acquisition Brilliance Audio, including those in the MP3CD format. In the mold of other stores on the site, the new audiobook store includes bargain titles, highlighted genres, a “New & Notable” section and a bestseller list. In addition, browsers will find such syndicated material from Audiofile Magazine as downloadable reviews and blog entries.

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