Emma Cox

audibleHarrowing is the present state of the American reading population.

According to a survey conducted by the international Internet-based market research firm YouGov for children’s publisher Scholastic, the number of young American readers who read for fun dropped by almost 10 percent this year.

Unfortunately, even adults no longer care for written stories. A Pew Research study said that nearly a quarter of the American adult population had not even thought of picking up a book in 2014.

However, here’s a piece of good news.

The number of Americans returning to reading is increasing. Thanks to audiobooks, even the world’s laziest person can now finish a novel. Overly busy professionals and attention-divided kids are now rediscovering the beauty of reading, though this time, through listening.

Today, 14 percent of Americans are reading through listening, and this number could still go up in 2015. However, the fact tank behind the study argues that there are still more work to be done: millions of Americans are still unfamiliar of the audiobook platform.

Luckily, Audible is quick to respond.

The audiobook giant has rolled out a new video advert entitled "Stories that Surround You" which aims to help consumers (the non-reading people, especially) discover reading through audiobooks.

Audible taps the service of ad agency Firstborn, which they teamed up with in September for WhisperSync for Voice product. Here, they use racy excerpts from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. The success it garnered from social media users and advertising experts encouraged Audible to partner with the young ad agency again.

This is Firstborn’s largest in-house studio projects to date, and, according to the ad agency itself, the most challenging.

"With this campaign, we wanted to clear up the misconception that audiobooks are only ideal when you need to be hands free, like on a road trip or your daily commute. Their convenience certainly makes reading easier, but Audible’s narrators actually enhance the experience and can transform the simple act of reading a book to something more immersive," says Seth Tabor, Executive Producer, Content Development at Firstborn.

Stories that Surround You,” boasts of stylistic method in advertising production embellished in skillful scriptwriting and well-delivered voice narration.

Matthew Thornton, senior director of communications at Audible, said the ad is in keeping with Audible’s brand. “It conveys the rich, immersive, modern experience of listening to audiobooks, demonstrating why Audible is such a powerful and habituating service for millions around the world.”

Audible said that the campaign will go beyond video, as it also plans to disseminate "Stories" across traditional media platforms like TV, radio, and print.

Audible titles are also available on Audioboom (LSE: BOOM), a UK-based audio platform that focuses on spoken-word content. Last year, the company partnered with Audioboom to enhance its presence across the Web and introduce talking books to wider audiences.

Audible commenced the radio campaign in April.


Emma Cox is a journalist covering finance, technology, and healthcare who has been published on numerous sites.


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