Audible.com Joins SpokenWord.org

Over the next hour we’ll be adding virtually the entire audiobook catalog (close to 40,000 titles) from Audible.com to SpokenWord.org. You can listen to free MP3 previews on SpokenWord.org and if you like what you hear, you can click through to Audible.com’s site to purchase the complete audiobook.

Why did we decide to include programs that are only available with usage restrictions or DRM (digital-resource management) from sources such as Audible.com? Two reasons: (1) We want to be a source for all spoken-word recordings; and (2) We receive affiliate-program commissions from vendors, which helps us bring you SpokenWord.org for free. We recognize that the inclusion of fee/DRM content is controversial and we’re trying to do so with full transparency.

Before launching this feature we discussed it at length internally. We also surveyed the members of The Conversations Network, 89% of whom told us they wanted us to include commercial/DRM programs so long as we made it clear what was free and what wasn’t and so long as commercial/DRM programs didn’t become a majority of the site. If you believe our presentation of these programs is in appropriate, please join our discussion. We’re always trying to improve the content and presentation.

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