Amazon subsidiary Audible pushes on in its shift away from traditional audiobooks and toward original content by entering into a multi-year development deal with Skybound Entertainment to create multiple audio-only originals available exclusively to Audible subscribers. Skybound is the multiplatform content company widely known for its global hit franchise The Walking Dead, which was adapted for TV and other media formats from company chairman and co-founder Robert Kirkman’s original comic. The new partnership gives Skybound access to another audience for its signature action-filled and character-driven storytelling.
“At Skybound we strive to connect creators to new and existing fanbases across multiple channels,” said CEO David Alpert. “Teaming up with Audible gives our creators a new platform to expand on their stories, and we’re excited to do so with the best in the audio content business.”
Apart from the new audio originals program, Skybound holds a first-look television deal with Audible’s corporate relative Amazon Studios and a first-look feature deal with Universal Pictures. Creative Artists Agency (CAA) negotiated the Skybound-Audible deal.
For Audible’s part, this agreement is the latest in a line of high-profile original-content collaborations. In February, the company announced its alliance with Lorne Michael’s Broadway Video to create audio-only comedy originals. The first project from that partnership, the 10-episode series Heads Will Roll starting Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon and a celebrated cast that includes Meryl Streep, Peter Dinklage, and Tim Gunn, among others, launched in May. And in May 2018, Audible teamed up with Hello Sunshine, the media brand founded by actress Reese Witherspoon, whose Reese’s Book Club has become a powerhouse.