In a deal that combines two of the largest independent companies in the spoken word audiobook industry, Recorded Books has acquired Tantor Media for an undisclosed price. The purchase gives Recorded Books additional clout in the audio retail marketplace, as well as access to Tantor’s recording studios.
Tantor has a backlist of over 4,500 titles and the acquisition, which was completed late last year but only announced this morning, gives Recorded Books a catalog of more than 22,000 audiobooks. Through the deal, Tantor will continue to operate out of its offices in Old Saybrook, Conn. with cofounders Kevin and Laura Colebank staying with the company for a period of time, a Recorded Books spokesperson said.
In the last few years, Tantor has accelerated its title output and now releases about 100 audiobooks per month, which it sells in both physical formats and as digital downloads. Tantor also produces a select number of e-books annually, and has started to publish print books. The push into print is part of a bid to offer Tantor's authors the opportunity to have their works released across all three formats. The Recorded Books spokesperson, however, said the primary focus of the acquisition is aimed at "expanding Tantor's core audio production business."
The purchase marks Recorded Books’ second major acquisition in eight months. Last April it acquired HighBridge, which had been the audiobook imprint of Workman Publishing. Additionally, Recorded Books itself was purchased by the private equity firm Wasserstein & Co. in early 2014.
“Tantor’s longstanding relationships with leading publishers and authors has driven its strong growth and built one of the industry’s leading catalogs of audiobooks,” said Rich Freese, CEO of Recorded Books. “As the publishing industry continues to embrace a shift towards digital and the growth in audio content, Recorded Books’ catalog of audiobooks and digital capabilities will be even better positioned to capitalize on that demand.