Everyone in radio is scrambling to find out how podcasting will affect their market share. What about Audible? Audible Inc. was founded in 1997 with backers such as Bertelsmann AG, the German communications giant. The company sells audio books and audio feeds of popular NPR programs like “All Things Considered” from their website, www.audible.com, for a monthly fee for $15.

In many ways, Audible is a precursor to podcasting because they introduced the idea of listening to what you want when you want. Now with podcasting, you can listen to what you want for free. For Audible to compete with podcasting, they are making some interesting moves. On June 1, Audible announced an exclusive marketing deal with Harlequin Enterprises to provide audio books of their romance and woman’s fiction. A major deal like this may help Audible gain more position as new media baby podcasting gets showered with attention.

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