Amazon Buys Audiobook Publisher Brilliance

Online retailing giant Amazon.com has announced it has acquired Michigan-based audiobook publisher Brilliance Audio in a move to increase the number (and variety) of book titles available to consumers in audio form. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed; Amazon.com describes Brilliance as “the largest independent publisher of audiobooks in the United States,” and says the company will stick with its Michigan location and operate independently.

Amazon.com believes the audiobook market has historically been underserved, with the economics of recording, producing, and marketing audiobooks largely restricting the format to mass-market, best-selling titles. Amazon.com hopes the acquisition of Brilliance Audio will enable it to offer a more diverse selection of audiobook titles.

“Brilliance Audio has been delighting customers for more than two decades with their world-class audiobook capabilities,” said Greg Greeley, Amazon.com’s VP of books. “With this acquisition we can make it more efficient for authors and book publishers of all sizes to expand the number of titles produced in increasingly popular audio formats, offering customers a much broader selection.”

The deal coincides with an announcement that Amazon.com subsidiary CustomFlix now supports both standard audio CD and MP3-CD formats via it’s Disc on Demand service. CustomFlix enables publishers and authors to make audiobook versions of their titles available without having to maintain inventory, and lets titles stay on the market and available which might otherwise go out of production.

“Storytelling is an art and our audiobooks strive to capture the nuance and complexity of our author’s stories and bring the characters and images to life in a way that fully engages the listener,” said Brilliance Audio founder and president Michael Snodgrass. “Our singular focus on audiobooks and our commitment to provide the very highest-quality products in the industry will not change.”

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