updated 03:40 pm EDT, Mon July 31, 2006
Audible extends iTMS deal
Audible today announced that it will extend its exclusive deal with Apple for another three years, boasting more than 16,000 audiobooks, paid podcasts, radio programs, and instructional language offerings via the iTunes Music Store. The initial agreement was due to expire in September of 2007, but the extension announced today makes Audible the exclusive supplier of afore mentioned content until September of 2010, according to TheStreet.com. "Audible's audiobooks have been extremely popular with iTunes customers and consistent best-sellers," said Eddy Cue, vice president of iTunes.
Analysts reportedly approved of the new deal, suggesting that it bodes well for Audible over the long term and that the extension is a testament to the value of the company.
"That agreement is extremely important to Audible," George Mihalos said, a Gilford Securities analyst.
iTunes sales represent 22 percent of Audible's revenue, according to Mihalos.
"If this deal was not extended at some point it would have been a very big negative for the shares," the analyst noted. "It's nice to see them get [the deal] done sooner."
Expanding Audible content
Audible is also expected to add sermons to its online library by a pastor of one of the largest "megachurches" in the U.S., according to a report that surfaced earlier this month, and will offer subscription services to "The Potter's House Audible Listener Plan" for $14.95 per month.