Audiobooks is a multi-billion dollar industry and many publishers are generating significant revenue from the format. One of the most untapped markets for audio content is the Amazon Alexa and the BBC is hoping to remedy this issue.
The BBC has teamed up with Rosina Sound to produce The Inspection Chamber. It’s an interactive audio drama, that harkens back to the glory days of the Choose Your Own Adventure paperbacks. The story is a comedy sci-fi audio drama taking inspiration from everything from videogames to existing audio stories. Authors from Franz Kafka to Douglas Adams were cited as inspirations.
“We’ve seen a lot of examples of interactive audio stories which operate like a Choose Your Own Adventure book – short chunks followed by a choice: would you like to go down the stairs or through the door? We don’t think this works particularly well for entertainment – it takes you out of the moment and forces you to step back and consider your choice at a level of remove from the story and in the context of all the other choices you’ve made. In this pilot, you’re actively playing a part in the story, using your own voice – we wanted to make it feel like you’re having a genuine, direct interaction with the other characters in the piece”, said the BBC.
The first episode of the series will be released on BBC Taster by the end of the year for the Amazon Alexa and Google Home. If it is successful, it will likely be ported onto the Apple HomePod.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.