RBmedia has acquired the audiobook publishing business of McGraw-Hill Professional, a subsidiary of McGraw-Hill. According to Troy Juliar, chief content officer for RBmedia, the purchase adds about 400 business audiobook titles to the company's catalog. Under the deal, RBmedia bought M-H Professional's previously published works and obtained the rights to publish audio editions of all new M-H Professional books, which Juliar expects to amount to 40 books annually.
“We are excited to participate more fully in the rapidly expanding audiobook category by partnering with RBmedia,” Scott Grillo, president of McGraw-Hill Professional, said in a statement. “Leveraging RBmedia’s unique abilities in spoken audio will help us reach business and trade professionals and all those striving to advance their education or careers.”
RBmedia, which was created in 2017 after the acquisitions of multiple pre-existing audiobook companies, has steadily expanded its audio business's book holdings, which now comprise roughly 5,000 titles. Juliar said that the trove of titles will permit the company to expand beyond the trade market into such areas as education and training. McGraw-Hill Professional’s catalog of business, lifestyle, technical, and professional titles includes such international bestsellers and classic business titles as Crucial Conversations and SPIN Selling.
John Shea, chief product and marketing officer at RBmedia, said the company has been growing in line with the overall industry increase in the digital audiobook sector, which amounts to about 15% annually. The company saw a sales surge earlier this year after Netflix's Bridgerton became a streaming hit, boosting sales of RBmedia's audiobooks for Julia Quinn's Bridgerton book series. The company also owns the rights to Nomadland, and the audiobook for that title had a sales bump of its own after the film adaptation on the title won Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards.
M-H is not the first acquisition for RBmedia this year; earlier in the year, it bought the Barcelona-based audiobook publisher, Booka. Juliar didn't rule out more acquisitions in 2021.