Audio Publishers Association Stages an ‘International Summit’

In News by Porter Anderson

The Audio Publishers Association, based in the United States, hosts a first ‘International Summit of Audio Publishers’ in September.

Image – Getty iStockphoto: Sergio Caballero

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

See also: Audio Publishers Association: 9-Percent Growth

‘A Unique Platform for Publishers and Distributors’
While many parts of the work of the United States-based Audio Publishers Association has been frequently useful to the world book publishing industry, its September 10 International Summit of Audio Publishers in New York City is the organization’s first-of-its-kind foray into elements of the business in the international context.

“This event,” the program’s descriptive text reads, “will provide a unique platform for publishers and distributors from diverse global locations to connect, collaborate, and explore the latest trends in the industry.”

Michele Cobb, the association’s executive director has at several points in recent years talked of wanting to explore a greater international context for the association’s work, and she has become a frequent speaker in the world industry’s events from Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 16 to 20 this year) to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Readmagine, Sharjah Publishers Conference, London Book Fair, Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, and others.

Related article: Audio Publishers Association Survey: 9-Percent Growth. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Grandbrothers

This one-day conference, however, will bring together in New York some of the players better known in international circles than in the States. As in many business sectors, the United States market is so large—the world’s largest in audiobooks—that potentials for broadening business, both into and out of the States, could be missed by many.

The adoption of audiobooks has by no means moved at the same pace in all markets, of course, and the dynamics behind the format’s patchwork of progress is illuminating: undeniably robust in some regions and peculiarly muted in others.

Organizers say that networking is an important component of the daylong event, which is preceded by a reception on the previous evening.

Highlights Planned for the Day

Michele Cobb

All times are Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4 hours). Descriptive text for sessions is based on information from organizers of the event. Meeting space will be provided for attendees during networking breaks.

9:30 a.m.
What’s Happening in Your Part of the World?
A look at trends in various international markets

10:45 a.m. 
Networking break

11:15 a.m. 
The Publisher’s Perspective, a ‘fireside chat’
Chantal Restivo-Alessi—HarperCollins’ chief digital officer and CEO of international foreign language—talks with Publishing Perspectives about key differences in core parts of the audiobooks business in various parts of the world. How do different market models and platforms impact consumption and what can we learn from the data about what listeners want? Restivo-Alessi shares lessons learned about testing new models, fighting piracy, and marketing around the world.

12:15 p.m.
Networking lunch

1:45 p.m.
Data-Driven Decisions, Global Expansion, and AI Narration, a ‘fireside chat’
Ed Nawotka from Publishers Weekly talks with Helena Gustafsson, CCO at Storytel, for a free-ranging conversation about listener data and how it’s influencing the company’s business choices; which territories are growing the fastest; what obstacles there are to growth; and their approach to AI and audiobook narration.

2:45 p.m.
How Technology Can Empower Authors, Publishers, and Listeners
Owen Smith, Spotify’s vice-president of audiobooks, product and tech, discusses technology, audiobook discovery and recommendations, and the company’s position on how publishers and authors can expand audience on the platform.

3:15 p.m.
Networking break

4 p.m. 
Beyond Borders
Lee Jarit, head of ACX and Audible’s North American Publisher Partnerships, will explore data behind Audible’s international/non-English-language listener base and localized marketplaces. Using Audible’s entry into Brazil as a case study, attendees will be told about Audible’s international business model and customer engagement.

5 p.m.
Cocktail reception

Pricing and Accommodation Notes

Registration for the program on September 10 has early-bird pricing of US$400 for Audio Publisher Association members and $500 for non-members. Starting on August 8, pricing goes to $475 for association members and $575 for non-members.

The program is set at the New Yorker Hotel on 8th Avenue in new York City, and the program offers a group rate of US$329 nightly.

Registration and more information are available here.

More from Publishing Perspectives on audiobooks is here, more on the Audio Publishers Association is here, more on industry statistics is here, more on the United States’ market is here, more on publishing conferences is here, and more on digital publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.