One of the biggest problems I have running marketing here at tippclassical.com is trying to figure out efficient ways to let people know how great audiobooks actually are.
We’ve done qualitative research and conducted a survey that gives us overwhelming evidence that word of mouth is critical. There’s simply nothing as effective as getting a book from a friend and being told to listen to it.
But audiobooks aren’t inherently viral – unlike cellphones and bottled water, they are not consumed in public.
Another big non-visible product, 70% of Netflix customers come from word of mouth referrals (their statistic).
About 15% of ours come from word of mouth. This sort of mirrors the overall market penetration of DVD movies and audiobooks, so it’s not terribly surprising. But it’s clear that audiobooks could do with a lot more show and tell.
We’re starting a beta program internally to promote word of mouth, and it’s not a simple extension of our current referral program. We’ll see how it goes and I’ll report on it later in this blog.
Any suggestions people might have on plans of action on this front (alerting people) would be MUCH appreciated. More people should listen to audiobooks. They’re ridiculously great!
How did you first get started on audiobooks?…
I found a blog entry where the author lists a bunch of books they would like to read – a great personalized summer reading list.
The funny part is that they come right out and says that they don’t read audiobooks. And it doesn’t look like a defensive statement, as in “I don’t swim”, or “I fall down when I drink too much”.
I’d prefer, “I don’t read audiobooks because they’re too expensive.” Or “I don’t read audiobooks because they’re too heavy to lift.” Just saying “I don’t read audiobooks” sounds dismissive and kind of ticks me off, as if there’s some sort of understanding that the reader would automatically appreciate whatever the reason is.
Of course, I’m an audiobook bigot myself, so who am I to say.
But this does serve to illustrate something I’ve suspected for a long time.
The more a person loves books, the less likely they are to love audiobooks. This is so counterintuitive as to be shocking. People who don’t like books don’t like audiobooks.
People who love books don’t like audiobooks (generally). The logic is something like, if you have all the time in the world to read prodigious quantities of paper books, then you don’t need one of the chief benefits of audiobooks – listening while doing other things.
Thank god there’s a huge middle ground of people who like books and wish they could read more.
Or they’re just plain bored in their cars and have the good sense to listen to a book on cd rather than yelling at the car in front of them, or talking on their cellphones (likely complaining about traffic).…
It never fails, no matter how inexpensive something can be, someone’s going to want it for less.
I stumbled across Jennie’s innocuous comment about audiobooks being expensive, and thought, “Hey, another audiobook fan!” And then I thought, “Wait, expensive? What about the library?”
Audiobooks go anywhere from free to really expensive, but it’s all about knowing where to get them.
Doing some research on pricing around the world last week, I discovered that the Harry Potter audiobooks are TWICE as expensive in the UK as in the US.
Meaning over $100 for any given one (unabridged of course). Go figure. Captive audience? Most audiobooks there is the same price as here. Now that’s expensive.
With the advent of digital downloads, prices for books keep dropping.
Our own rental program brings the cost down quite a bit, but the program isn’t designed for getting specific audiobooks right at the moment you want them.
For that, you have to either download, with all the attendant hassles or go to your neighborhood bookstore where they still might not have what you want and would charge you an arm and your left eye to buy it anyway.
No perfect solution.
But I’ve been an audiobook fan for going on a dozen years now, and selection AND pricing are much better now than they’ve ever been in the past. How nice.…