Keynotes announced for FutureBook's AudioBook Conference

Keynotes announced for FutureBook's AudioBook Conference

W F Howes general manager Miles Stevens-Hoare and Enders Analysis’ Joseph Evans are to join radio futurologist James Cridland as the keynote speakers at The Bookseller’s AudioBook conference, held as part of FutureBook Live 2018 (30th November).

This is the third year of The Bookseller's successful AudioBook Conference, with speakers also including Jess Williams, c.e.o. and voice designer of Opearlo, on the future for voice apps, and Wil Harris chief executive of Entale, on the potential for using podcasts for storytelling. Other topics under discussion at the conference will be publishing original content for audio, starting out as an audiobook publisher, and using audio for campaigns.

Stevens-Hoare, who joined W F Howes in February 2017, will talk about the development of the audiobook market from the perspective of an audiobook publisher, retailer, libraries supplier and distributor. W F Howes releases around 100 new unabridged audiobooks every month under a number of imprints including Clipper, Jammer, Avid, Lamplight, Nudged and Jammer Teen. It is owned by RBmedia, which operates audiobook retailer Audiobooks.com, as well as RBdigital, a cloud-based platform for libraries.

Enders' Evans will discuss the growth of the audiobook business in the UK, and the implications on the marketplace of Audible’s dominance. In particular, he will ask whether Audible’s efforts to become a Netflix for audio is a credible strategy, and what the implications for publishers might be if it moves towards a subscription model. In a recent paper, Evans wrote: “The sector is dominated by the presence of Audible, Amazon’s audiobook publisher/retailer, which has driven growth of audio books but put publishers under pressure. Its strategy is a lesson in Amazon’s approach to media."

Previously announced,  Cridland will talk about the smart-speaker landscape, and how it is blurring the market for listening encompassing audiobooks, podcasts and radio.

Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller and programmer for the AudioBook Conference, said: "It is the third year of the AudioBook Conference, and we are delighted that our speakers represent the full spectrum of the audio market, from audiobook publishers, to podcasters, to smart-speaker developers. Books will play a big part in the growth of the listener landscape, and this conference is aimed at everyone wanting to understand how that develops in the future."

Past attendees of the AudioBook Conference in 2017 and 2016 have until the end of this week to register for FutureBook Live at last year's AudioBook prices, to do so please contact Briony Morgan (briony.morgan@theBookseller.com) for your discount code. Bookings can be made at thebookseller.com/futurebook-conference with early-bird rates available until 5th October.