A NEW digital service for audiobooks which allows listeners to stream their favourite authors direct to their iPhone is launched today (June 20).
Bardowl, www.bardowl.com, which promises to do for audiobooks what Spotify did for music, is the first audiobook streaming service in Europe and offers fans an unlimited supply of content for a one-off monthly subscription.
The service is the brainchild of mobile tech innovators Chris Book and Neil Chapman, who met at Orange, and were joined in 2010 as a shareholder and publishing director, by former Virgin Publishing MD Rob Shreeve.
Chris said: “Audiobooks have been around for a long time but the growth of smartphones now means that nearly everybody has a mobile audiobook player in their pocket 24 hours a day - audiobooks have come of age.
“The only option users have at the moment is the traditional download-to-own service which forces users to buy an entire book with little opportunity to sample it.
“It is now obvious to all that streamed content and the subscription model is the future of content services. You only have to look at the success of services such as Spotify, BBC iPlayer and SkyGo and the battle for streamed films going on between LoveFilm and Netflix, to see that.
“As a huge audiobook fan myself I wanted a platform that would give me unlimited access to content which I could stream directly to my phone, eliminating lengthy download times – it didn’t exist, so we decided to build it ourselves.”
The first version of the service offers listeners unlimited access to some of the world’s great business books including inspirational titles from Luke Johnson, Felix Dennis, and Karren Brady, as well as business and management classics from authors such as Stephen J. Levitt, Michael Lewis and John Adair.
Soon after launch Bardowl will begin adding the very best non-fiction such as classic biographies, history, travel and humour plus a carefully selected range of top fiction from the UK’s biggest publishers as Bardowl becomes the number one audiobook delivery service in the UK.
Bardowl allows users to stream whatever they want to their phone and does not limit users to a few titles they might have downloaded in advance.
Bardowl’s mobile streaming and caching technology will mean listeners also avoid lengthy download times to their iPhone, but will have enough content saved on their handset to last a long tube journey or a short flight when they are disconnected from a 3G or Wi-Fi network.
Social media is at the heart of Bardowl’s service and, uniquely, users can capture a 30 second quote from any book they are listening to and post that quote, with their personal comments, to social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.
Rob Shreeve added: “Digital download of audiobooks is well established but not everyone wants to invest the time and not inconsiderable money in owning and listening to entire audiobooks.
“If they do, that’s fine; with Bardowl they can stream entire books to their phone and listen to a number of titles in parallel.
“But we also think that people are now much more interested in grazing for content - sampling novels before they commit, dipping into non-fiction, listening to what they want, when they want and for as long as they want – it’s how we use the internet and it’s also the future of audiobooks.”
Publishers have been keen to support the new service which is expected to open a new market for audiobooks and extending the range of titles listened to.
To download the app go to: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bardowl/id492667930?ls=1&mt=8
For more information on Bardowl go to http://www.bardowl.com/
For media enquires contact Alistair Clay, Arc Seven Communications, t - 01373 301904, m – 07919 574180, e - firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
The Bardowl Audiobooks Service costs just £9.99 a month for unlimited access to a library of classic titles that will grow, week by week, into the definitive audio library, on demand, in your pocket.
To date Penguin, Macmillan, AudioGo, Wiley, and specialist audio publishers Summersdale and Creative Content have all signed up to have their content shared via Bardowl.