New AudioUK leader looks to simplify audiobooks business

New AudioUK leader looks to simplify audiobooks business

AudioUK's new chair Kellie While says she is looking to make the business side of audiobooks simpler for both publisher and producer in the future as she called on audio producers to work together to "take the sector to the next level".

While was elected unopposed as the new chair of AudioUK following the decision by long-standing chair Phil Critchlow to stand down after seven years in the role.

AudioUK said While, who is head of creative at 7digital (one of the biggest independent suppliers of content to radio in the UK), will chair the board and provide strategic direction as AudioUK "seeks to increase opportunities and improve terms of trade for production companies in radio, audiobooks and podcasting."

While said: “The audiobook market is growing steadily and people expect the type of high production values our sector can bring. We are working to be a voice for audiobook production companies which can make the business side of audiobooks simpler in the future for both parties – publisher and producer.”

Following the merger of 7digital and UBC Media, While was appointed head of production at 7digital in 2015 and now leads all activities across the production side of business as head of 7digital Creative. She is responsible for major radio programmes across most BBC radio networks as well as audio and visual content for other broadcasters, commercial partners and in podcasting from bases in London and Salford.

She added: “I’m delighted to become chair as we look to build the audio production market across podcasting, radio and audiobooks. Phil’s leadership achieved many key successes. I thank him for his huge contribution and I look forward to working with our members in what is such an exciting time for audio, to grow our sector, increase our training and be as inclusive as possible. We want producers who are wondering ‘where do I go from here?’ to join us as we look to take the sector to the next level.”

AudioUK, previously The Radio Independents Group (RIG), is the trade association for independent audio production companies in the UK. The organisation was relaunched in 2018 with a broader remit, in the wake of the audiobook and podcasting boom, "to put audio production at the heart of the UK’s successful creative industries".