FutureBook, The Bookseller’s digital publishing conference, is to expand in 2016 with dedicated strands on EdTech and the audiobook market. Europe’s largest digital publishing conference takes place on Friday 2nd December with the broadest programme yet to be focused on the ongoing digital transformation across the publishing sector, with speakers from trade, education and academic publishing, the start-up sector, entertainment retail and gaming.
The introduction of a distinct EdTech strand recognises the huge growth and interest in this developing marketplace as new companies and publishers look to take advantage of recent technologies and the increased demand for educational resources globally. The Bookseller is to partner with the EdTech Exchange to run the separate stream, which will be focused on bringing publishers, education experts and start-ups together in one space.
Founded by Gojimo’s George Burgess and the Education App Store’s Justin Smith, the EdTech Exchange is Europe's largest community of EdTech founders, including the founders of companies such as Bridge U, Educational App Store, EtonX, Gojimo, and RefME. Justin Smith, co-founder of the EdTech Exchange, said: “We’re delighted to be working closely with The Bookseller to deliver the inaugural EdTech stream at this year’s conference. We’ll be delivering insights from some of the most innovative members of our community as well as learnings from some of the world’s largest educational publishers.”
The audiobook conference will be co-programmed by Ali Muirden, former chair of the Audio Publishers Association and founder of audio business Creative Content. Audiobook downloads have become the fastest growing segment of the digital content market for trade publishers, with the overall audio digital download market said to be worth close to £100m annually in the UK. The Bookseller last ran a dedicated audiobook conference in 2008 before the dramatic shift to audio downloads and away from CDs, which also led to Amazon subsidiary Audible gaining a market-leading position in the sector.
Muirden said: “Audio publishing is very much on the up at the moment, so it seems the perfect time to have the opportunity to discuss the key issues of this interesting and diverse area of publishing. I am delighted to be involved in helping to shape the programme of the audio event at FutureBook later this year. In the past audio has been considered rather a niche area of publishing and it’s great to see audiobook revenues increasing so dramatically both here and in the US and that audiobooks are finally getting the recognition they so richly deserve.”
FutureBook 2016 takes place on Friday 2nd December at 155 Bishopsgate adjacent to Liverpool Street Station, London, and is once again expected to attract an audience upwards of 500 from across the book business. Previous speakers have included Tom Weldon, chief executive of Penguin Random House UK; Charlie Redmayne, chief executive of HarperCollins UK; Susan Jurevics, c.e.o of Pottermore; Michael Tamblyn, chief executive of Kobo; Seni Glaister, former c.e.o. of the Book People and now founder of WeFiFo, and the musician, poet and rapper Akala.
Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller and programme director for FutureBook, said: “The Bookseller has been leading the digital debate within publishing since we launched the FutureBook website and conference in 2010, and this year we will lead it further with the characteristic FutureBook mash-up of industry experience and outside disrupter. In particular, we are looking forward to launching these two new dedicated streams at the conference on EdTech and the audiobook; both are hugely important, growing and exciting segments that show how the digital transformation is broadening its footprint in books. As befits this industry, the programme will be hugely ambitious and the event will once again prove to be a real showcase of digital expertise from across the entire sector.”
More announcements about the programme will be made in September; for sponsorship opportunities please contact The Bookseller’s advertising account manager Emma Hare; for speaker opportunities at FutureBook 2016 please contact Jones or FutureBook’s associate editor Molly Flatt; to discuss speaker opportunities at the audiobook conference please contact Ali Muirden; for EdTech speaker slots contact Benedicte Page.
To receive updates about the FutureBook 2016 conference, register your interest here.