On January 31, 2008, Amazon announced that it would acquire audiobook provider Audible.com for $300 million in cash. The deal will contribute to expanding company’s digital audio content with than 80,000 programs.
Audible's content includes over 40,000 titles by more than 293 different providers, amounting to over 125,000 hours of audio programming. Content includes books of all genres, as well as radio shows (classic and current), speeches, interviews, stand-up comedy, and audio versions of periodicals such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Additionally, some content - particularly political speeches, government hearings, and content such as the 9/11 Report Speech - is available for free.
One feature that contrasts Audible from most other online content providers is that once a customer has purchased a title, it remains in that customer's library and can be downloaded at any time, or the customer may listen to the file directly from the website, regardless of whether it has been downloaded before.
Audible audio files are compatible with over 230 models of audio players, PDAs, mobile phones and streaming media devices. Devices that do not have AudibleAir capability (allowing users to download content from their library directly into their devices) require a Windows PC or Macintosh to download the files. Additionally, titles can be played on the PC (using iTunes, Windows media Player, or AudibleManager), streamed directly from the website, or burned to CD with AudibleManager.
Amazon will buy all Audible.com’s outstanding shares for $11.50 per share and will assume its outstanding stock-based awards. The deal is due to be terminated by the second quarter of 2008.
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