Can Media Companies Charge for Previously Free Digital Content? Yes! (ADBL)

| About: Audible, Inc. (ADBL)

A crucial comment from Audible Inc. (ADBL) CEO Donald Katz for anyone investing in media stocks or involved in the media industry (my italics):

On the all-important content front, we now have around 100,000 hours of first-rate listening available at We added more than 1200 new titles during the first quarter and signed 27 new and renewed content partners. Over 60% of our content relationships continue to be exclusive, multi-year partnerships. During Q1, we established exclusive relationships with Forbes and Harvard Business Review, and added new ones with the Atlantic Monthly and the Ricky Gervais show, the popular short-form program from the British comedian who created The Office and HBO’s Extras.

The first season of The Ricky Gervais Show was a free pod cast, and the second season was a paid pod cast. The program generated a ton of press here and in the U.K., including a front-page New York Times art section review, and significant sales. At one point, various episodes of the show occupied 5 of the top 10 selling albums at iTunes U.K.

Source: Audible Inc. Q1 2006 conference call transcript.