Bardowl, the audiobook streaming service that launched to the public in 2012, is to close this week.
In an email to subscribers the service noted: “It is with great disappointment that I have to tell you that we are closing Bardowl. From next Wednesday your subscription will not renew, and at the end of your subscription period you'll no longer be able to listen to any books.”
Bardowl was founded by mobile tech innovators Chris Book and Neil Chapman, who met at Orange, and offered a "Spotify" model costing users £9.99 a month for unlimited access to audiobooks available via a streaming service. However, it struggled to get content deals from publishers unconvinced by the subscription model, with the growing audiobook download market already dominated by Amazon’s subsidiary Audible.
Responding to questions on Twitter, Book said the founders had known for some time that it “wouldn’t make it”, and had taken on jobs elsewhere. However, Book noted that the service had been well-liked by its users. “Amazing response from subscribers in the Bardowl support inbox. Some people really loved what we created.”