By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
A Comprehensive Audio Showcase and ConferenceIn an early programming note on the new Audio Summit conference that will highlight the new Frankfurt Audio area at Frankfurter Buchmesse this year (October 16 to 20), organizers this morning (June 12) have announced that Michael Krause, Spotify’s managing director for Central Europe, will give a keynote address.
Set in Hall 3.1, the new Frankfurt Audio area is a thematically contextualized exhibition and activity sector of the book fair, with its own new stage dedicated to audio-related topics and dubbed the Frankfurt Audio Stage.
The conference event is devised as a half-day program and scheduled for Frankfurt’s Thursday, October 17, The Frankfurt Audio Summit, a half-day conference on Thursday, October 17, as part of the fair’s content for professional trade visitors.
Krause will open the program, having been in his role with Spotify since October 2017, responsible for the firm’s Central European markets and for its business in the German-speaking world.
He focuses on areas of content and local partnerships, and previously, as vice-president for Central and Eastern Europe and CEO EMEA at the French music-streaming service Deezer, he was responsible for more than 100 markets.
Also speaking are Michele Cobb, executive director of the Audio Publishers Association, Kurt Thielen, CEO of Zebralution, and Bradley Metrock, CEO of Score Publishing.
In a prepared statement issued today, Matthäus Cygan, the director of business development for international trade at Frankfurt, is quoted, saying, “Audio is one of the media industry’s fastest-growing segments internationally, [and] not only in publishing.
“With Frankfurt Audio, we want to create a venue and program for all topics related to audio content, production and distribution. Audio is both internationally relevant and diverse: from classic audiobooks and podcasts to voice assistants and streaming platforms—there are currently new developments in all these segments.
“Interesting new formats are emerging and new technologies and business models are being developed. We want to use Frankfurt Audio to address these issues, while also serving as a catalyst for discussion and providing space for an exchange among industry players. At the book fair weekend, the new area will become a meeting point for all audiobook and podcast fans,” when the public audience for the fair comes onto the grounds.
Hall 3.1’s Frankfurt Audio Area
The newly designated area itself in Hall 3.1 is to comprise more than 600 square meters and will host German-language and international exhibitors who will present their products and the latest trends from the world of audio.
The new venue is to include a collective stand showcasing the work of German-language audiobook publishers as well as international players, such as:
- Beat Technology (Norway Guest of Honor)
- Penguin Random House Audio (USA)
- Swann Studio (Denmark)
- AkooBooks Audio (Ghana—see our interview with founder Ama Dadson about this week’s “Africa Rising” seminar with the International Publishers Association)
Partners of Frankfurt Audio include Zebralution, Storytel, Bookwire, and the podcast network Auf die Ohren. Their participation will involve a mobile podcast studio as well as exhibition content. The area’s business lounge will be appropriate for meetings wth contacts in a quieter atmosphere.
Cygan says the business lounge and a cafe are part of the Frankfurt Audio plan as efforts to encourage networking among players in the audio space.
More from Publishing Perspectives on audiobooks is here.