• Audible. 10 euros per month and voices of celebrities: this is the podcast and audiobook platform that Amazon launches in Spain

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Don Katz (Chigago, 1952) was a journalist before founding Audible.

And you can tell that:

you get wet, philosopher, and you enter the cloth

in a way that almost no manager does.

He proudly tells how he runs the company according to its principles and enters fully into issues such as piracy, the global crisis, social tension in Trump's America or the culture war.

Something even stranger considering that Audible, which debuted this week in the Spanish market with its apps and through the web,

has been owned by Amazon

since 2008, when Jeff Bezos bought it for $ 300 million.

For Spain, Audible is still a great unknown.

A company halfway between technology and entertainment headquartered in Newark, an impoverished city with a black majority 15 minutes from Manhattan and with 30% poverty.

As a product, it offers a huge catalog of audiobooks and podcasts, among which is

a not inconsiderable quantity in all the official languages ​​of Spain


The company, together with Katz, also has milestones such as inventing

the first audio player in 1998

thanks to "great engineers who signed up from the Bell company when Newark was a great city of industry and innovation."

The saying that no one is a prophet in their land is true in the case of Audible.

His player, which had a total storage of 4 MB for two hours of audio, did not finish curdling and

the hit was three years later for the iPod


However, Audible adapted to the success of its competition and went on to become the

exclusive supplier of audiobooks for Apple

in 2003


It was also the first company to create an audiobook download and update system that Netflix later popularized with its manager to watch series offline.

Audible's business model also has many similarities to Netflix's (both are based on a monthly subscription payment format) and they face common enemies such as internet piracy.

A problem that brings up the authors' societies in Spain and that, however, Katz perceives with a different magnitude.

"There was a time when the position of the music industry caused many people to take this as a political gesture 'to release content,'" he recalls.

“There came a point where young people thought they were sharing music instead of pirating.

Today the distinction is clear and people are willing to pay.

In our experience,

Internet piracy is not a problem


Proof of this is the amount of minutes people consume on Audible, it is higher than video formats.

Katz takes his chest out of his numbers: Audible customers listen to 200 minutes of podcasts a week and consume 20 books a year.

"More than what people read," he


The launch in Spain comes at an atypical moment: In the middle of the second wave of a pandemic that the company knew how to weather.

"Unlike cinema, our studios kept working and we managed to increase production."

However, the audiences suffered: “

We noticed a drop in consumption because people were not driving


We look at indicators such as the kilometers traveled and in countries like Italy we realized that it was only 3% compared to the previous year ».

Fortunately, the data was soon recovered.

"Parents realized that children spend too much time in front of the screen to play and study and Audible became an attractive alternative for families and we took advantage to create free family content in several languages ​​for

more than 12 million children

" .

A difficult time in which he also

boasts of having distributed 5,000 servings a day and saved 25 restaurants from bankruptcy

thanks to a program that delivered food to vulnerable and homeless people in Newark.

By speaking, Katz tries to lead by example and fearlessly addresses the problem of polarization in the United States.

We are very into making content based on identity


We have

a very wide catalog of black culture and literature, as well as for the LGTB + community and Latinos


When the terrible murder of Geoge Floyd happened, we already had our own programming focused on issues such as social justice or inequality when these were at the center of the debate, "he says.

So what's better for business, Biden to win or Trump to win?

For all that we believe in as a business, I think we would be better off if we changed our president


We believe in equality and in giving people a chance ”.

Katz, who practiced journalism in Europe and the US for more than 20 years, is surprised by the speeches that have re-emerged during the mandate of the North American president.


Issues like racism, fascism and Nazism were no longer acceptable

, but now you see people talking like that and you freak out."

As a good American, he also brings out the famous First Amendment, that of freedom of expression.

"We welcome listeners with different points of view or alternative opinions," he says.

"We have content that tries to reflect historical reality from different people's perspectives and

a wide catalog that you can listen to if you have a conservative point of view


"Sometimes I get philosophical but I don't care", he jokes to take a breath before summarizing his mission in Audible: "If you look on our website you will realize that

we speak for people who want to be entertained

, who want to learn and who want to

think about different ideas and sensibilities

without falling into hatred towards other human beings ».


Within the Audible catalog for Spain it is possible to find exclusive content in podcast format that has been produced by the Unidad Editorial group.

In this sense, listeners will be able to find the

Redacción Marca


, in which the journalist Pablo Juanarena will offer an analysis of current sports and

Rafa Nadal's Academy

, a series about the high-performance school created by the tennis player.

Likewise, every week the

Expansión Report

program will be broadcast,

presented by Iñaki Garay, deputy director of the economic newspaper, in which the financial concerns of citizens will be analyzed with the best experts in a relaxed and educational way.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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