Audiobooks were the major trend of the American Library Association Annual conference in Las Vegas. Many of the top eBook distributors to libraries were all showcasing their next generation app platforms that put a priority on synergy and ease of use with all of their content. The 3M Cloud Library platform is developing a new app that will be released in September for Android and iOS.
3M is putting a heavy priority on their collection of audiobooks for patrons to borrow and listen from libraries. Their new app allows you to borrow and listen to each edition right within the app, instead of diverting you to a 3rd party. Each book will sync automatically with the cloud, insuring you can pick up where you left off on your tablet or smartphone. Currently, 3M is sourcing all of their audio content from FindAway World, which has a library of 40,000 titles.
Tom Mercer of 3M said that in a recent survey done by his company that 50% of all libraries were interested in purchasing and distributing audiobooks. He also mentioned that the new app will put a heavy priority on curated and editorial content. This way, the best new or established titles will be promoted on the main page by staff members. This will insure that the best and most successful titles will have an easier time being discovered.
We currently are living in a golden age of audiobooks. The global industry is currently worth around 2.4 billion dollars and the UK is growing at 6% annually. Amazon owned ACX is assisting indie authors in connecting them with producers and narrators. Other companies such as Findaway World, Recorded Books and Hoopla all have their own production studios that ware capable of digitizing exiting titles or making new ones.