October 25 – November 1, 2007 Edition

Penguin Audio

Withdraws Audio

Books From eMusic

NEW YORK, NY/10/19/07–Penguin Audio, one of the five publishers originally participating in eMusic’s audiobook downloading program, is withdrawing 150 titles from the online vendor due to digital piracy issues.

eMusic, competes with Apple’s iTunes in song downloads, and more recently in audio downloads. iTunes has strong content security that prevents illegal file-sharing and copying to CDs. However, eMusic has no restrictions and uses its open MP3 format to sell downloads without incorporating any digital rights management (DRM) with the files.

Dick Hefferman, publisher of Penguin Audio, has told the media that “At this moment we’re not going to have our titles on eMusic or with anyone else who sells non-DRM until the landscape shakes out and we feel very comfortable and confident that our titles will not be pirated.” Senior management at Penguin apparently pulled the plug on the program, calling it an experiment that it had decided it no longer wanted to do.

Other publishers who have joined eMusic say they have not experienced any piracy on the site and that sales are encouraging. Sales on eMusic have reached about 500 audiobooks per day, according to an item in the New York Times, nearly double sales projections. This is before eMusic’s official December launch of the audiobook download program.

David Pakman, chief executive of eMusic, has told the media that it will soon sign up three more publishers and that he hopes Penguin will eventually come back to the program.

eMusic’s parent company is JDS Capital Management.