Per an agreement announced November 19, John Wiley & Sons and RBmedia will partner to publish more than 650 audiobooks over the next three years. Landover, Md.-based RBmedia, a leading independent audio publisher and distributor, which is the corporate home of Recorded Books and HighBridge Audio among other audio lines, will serve as publisher, and Wiley will provide the content, largely from its business and finance titles and the Dummies brand of information books.
Under the new arrangement, RBmedia will publish all of Wiley’s frontlist titles as well as select backlist titles that have not previously been released in audio format. In addition, Wiley authors will narrate a significant portion of the new audiobooks. The first titles will be available in January via Audible, iTunes and RBmedia’s own platforms: Audiobooks.com (streaming and downloads for consumers) and RBdigital (access for public libraries and their patrons).
Matt Holt, senior v-p of trade at Wiley, expressed enthusiasm for the new venture and pointed to the upside for all parties. “We are thrilled that this partnership will enable us to see the full potential of the audiobook segment, which continues to grow at an exponential rate,” he said in a statement. “Together with RBmedia, we will explore new markets and business models for the distribution of spoken-word audio products, delivering content when, where and how users want it.”
Earlier this year, RBmedia was acquired by equity firm KKR following a busy year of growth in 2017. RBmedia’s audiobook catalog currently tops 35,000 titles.