Amazon owns a number of different companies, such as Whole Foods Market, Kindle Books, Book Depository, and a variety of other companies that are involved in serving different niches.
In addition to these companies, some customers may be curious if Amazon owns Audible. If you’d like to learn the same thing, keep reading this article to see what information I gathered on this topic!
Does Amazon Own Audible?
Amazon purchased Audible in 2008 for $300 million and has since made Audible a main factor in the Amazon consumer experience. After purchasing Audible, Amazon’s audiobook sales increased and has made the company one of the largest audiobook sellers and creators in the world, selling both Audible Original audiobooks and works by most major authors.
If you’d like to learn more about why Amazon purchased Audible, when Audible was released, how Amazon makes money with Audible, and more, keep reading for more useful facts and tips!
Did Amazon Originally Own Audible?
Amazon is not the original owner of Audible, but the company was, in fact, owned by Donald Katz, who launched Audible in 1995 as an audiobook and audio tech company.
Audible released their Audible Player in 1997, which was designed to allow customers to download audiobooks from the internet to the media player directly.
Audible continued to be its own separate entity until 2003 when they began talks with Apple to be the leading audiobook distributor for the iTunes store.
However, the original deal with Apple fell through, which later caused Amazon to purchase the company in 2008 for $300 million.
When Was Audible Released?
Audible was originally launched in 1995, but it took until 1997 for the company’s technology to be released to the public when Audible completed its first media player, the Audible Player.
Audible was reasonably successful upon launching its technology, selling over 3,000 media players and serving over 5,000 customers by September 1998.
By 1999, Audible was valued at $538 million and was quickly rising as one of the more successful digital media companies.
Additionally, Audible launched its subscription service in 2000, and its total annual sales rose up to $4.5 million.
Why Did Amazon Purchase Audible?
Amazon purchased Audible in order to expand upon its large digital library, which at the time featured mainly digital downloads for music, and Amazon wanted to dive more deeply into audiobook sales.
However, Amazon wanted Audible audiobooks to be integral with the Amazon Kindle, which had been released a year prior to their acquisition of Audible and mainly featured eBooks for purchase.
Therefore, Amazon struck a deal with Audible to be their exclusive provider for audiobooks and spoken word media, which enabled them to provide both eBooks and audiobooks to Kindle owners, boost their digital library, and increase book sales.
How Does Amazon Make Money on Audible?
Amazon makes money from Audible through the monthly subscription fee customers pay, advertisements featured within the app, as well as audiobooks available for purchase through Audible.
The Audible app has millions of loyal subscribers per year, which therefore provides Amazon with a decent profit from regular customer use.
As well, Audible Originals are often signed with well-known authors, actors, and other public figures, enabling Amazon to make money from the royalties.
Is Audible Available on Amazon Devices?
When Amazon acquired Audible, they made the app compatible with most of their Amazon brand devices. Currently, customers can download Audible on the following devices.
In addition to being compatible with Amazon devices, the Audible app is also compatible with the Kindle Keyboard, Audible software for PC and Mac computers, as well as MP3 players and other music players compatible with Audible’s file format.
Finally, if customers do not own a compatible device, they can also listen to Audible directly from Amazon.com when using a PC or Mac computer.
Is Audible Free for Amazon Prime Members?
Unfortunately, an Audible membership is not included with the Prime membership. If customers wish to use Audible regularly, they will have to purchase the membership separately from their regular Prime account.
An Audible membership costs $15.00 per month. However, Audible does give members one Credit for a free audiobook each month, which customers are allowed to save and use as currency when buying and downloading audiobooks.
Therefore, while Audible is not free for Prime Members, it does come with benefits that customers may find useful and worth paying a membership for each month.
Is an Audible Membership Worth It?
Audible is a worthwhile membership for customers who listen to audiobooks on a regular basis.
Customers who use Audible are able to gain access to exclusive audiobooks and are given one free Credit for an audiobook each month that they can use instead of purchasing books.
However, customers who only use audiobooks occasionally are not recommended to purchase an audible membership, as the $15 fee may be considered too high for customers who already have a Prime membership and/or won’t use the audiobooks very often.
It should be noted, however, that Audible comes with a free 30-day trial, during which time customers can purchase and download audiobooks permanently.
If they decide to cancel their membership, customers can still keep their purchased audiobooks.
Therefore, Audible is a worthwhile app for avid readers, as customers who don’t wish to use the app on a permanent basis can purchase any desired audiobooks within the time frame of their 30-day free trial!