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Audiobook Industry Challenges: Here’s Why It Needs Disrupting

Becky Parker Geist on audiobook industry problems

The audiobook industry has serious problems, despite how wonderful it might appear wonderful at first glimpse. With authors often only getting crumbs for royalties, the AMPlify Audiobooks™ platform and app sets out to solve the issue by giving authors back more control, as deserved. To explain more, I asked Becky Parker Geist, Pro Audio Voices CEO and producer of AMPlify, to guest post today.

Guest Post: Why Disrupt the Audiobook Industry?

From the outside, all signs indicate the audiobook industry is booming. Double-digit growth holds steady, and indicators suggest growth may even be accelerating. Consumers have access to a growing catalog of great content. What could possibly be wrong?

The underbelly of the industry, however, is not so rosy. Similar to some issues at play in the recent SAG-AFTRA strike, the financial balance in the audiobook world is way out of kilter, with millions in profits dropping into the pockets of retailers like Amazon while the creators—who typically shoulder the expense of audiobook production—are left with pennies.

Audiobook Industry: Crumbs for Creators is a Real Problem

What most audiobook listeners don’t realize is just how little of their payment for their next listen actually gets to the author. In fact, most authors don’t realize it either until they review their royalty statements. That’s when they discover that the royalty percentages they were lured in with were of the NET profit, not the gross revenue from each sale.

Magnifying the problem is the fact that the retailer paying the lowest royalty rate (and with the most rights-holder-UNfriendly policies) controls the majority market share. The ongoing double-digit rise in audiobook sales, up 25% in 2021 according to Audio Publishers Association, also ups the stakes for the rights-holders. They have more to lose by the status quo staying as is.

Control Matters

Royalties, however, are not the only issue. Authors are denied control over their pricing and customer information.

Retailers withhold the valuable customer details. Authors have no way to connect to their followers, build community, or utilize email marketing to further engagement. Yet they’re expected to keep churning out content—at their own expense—for retailers to exploit. There haven’t been other options available.

Until now.

AMPlify Audiobooks™

With the release of the AMPlify Audiobooks™ app and platform that provides direct control, Pro Audio Voices (PAV) is disrupting the audiobook industry and leading the way to a more just system for independently published authors and small publishers.

The AMPlify Audiobooks™ platform puts rights holders in control of their own work, provides tools and a team, and supports authors in building community—all while delivering much higher royalties from every sale.

Authors are able to schedule promotions and create coupons as part of their marketing. They can employ a wide range of related marketing tools, including monthly calls with marketing experts. They can stop struggling to win at the Amazon game, where the rules aren’t clear and keep changing, and payoff is tiny. Finally, authors have a platform of their own, where they can creatively market and promote their audiobooks as part of a community of authors doing likewise!

Customer Impact

AMPlify Audiobooks™ gives power back to the consumers as well. With the growing awareness of the importance of for artists to stop starving and start thriving, customers can now make a conscious choice by buying direct. Through AMPlify Audiobooks™, audiobook listeners can join the movement to support the authors they love.

The AMPlify Audiobooks™ app is available in both app stores. Audiobook purchases happen are made here.

About Today’s Writer, Becky Parker Geist

Becky Parker Geist is the founder and CEO of Pro Audio Voices, a Portland-based company serving clients internationally as a go-to place for exceptional audiobook production and marketing. She is also the producer of the AMPlify app that offers the highest royalties and most control to authors of audiobooks of any platform in the industry. Her debut novel, “The Left Turn,” the first in the Split Universe series, explores self-discovery and discoveries in new science through contemporary metaphysical fiction in the context of parallel universes; it is available on Amazon.

Talking Audiobook Industry Problems: Over to You

Thank you for being here, Becky! I learned a lot about the audiobook industry that isn’t getting much attention and what needs to change.

Over to you, dear readers! What are your thoughts on the audiobook industry today? Have you experienced challenges with audiobook royalties or control as an author, and do you see value in platforms that prioritize empowering writers, like AMPlify?

Top photo courtesy of Becky Parker Geist.

7 thoughts on “Audiobook Industry Challenges: Here’s Why It Needs Disrupting”

  1. Power to the writer! Power to the people!
    The ripping off of artists is an old story. As tech advances, the story needs revisions.
    Fab article, Christy.
    I have been boycotting Amazon for going on 9 years now.
    I know writers feel Amazon is their only, or their main option, but it is not.
    If I buy a book, I buy from Kobo.
    Their policies might not be much better, but if Amazon had a noticeable amount of competition taking from their sales, chances are they would improve their policies. This would create a ripple effect.

    Anyway, I still use the library.

    1. Thank you Resa for making buying choices that align with your values 👏 Do you have “little free libraries” where you are? They are boxes we have in many neighborhoods here where you exchange books ~ Give one, take one ~ Honour policy. They’re great!

  2. I am not a consumer of audio books. I think retailers such as Amazon should be forced to give back a good portion of the excess profits that they collected off the hard work of the creators. They certainly can afford it!

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