Amazon’s audio book service Audible looks to change behaviour with first Australian TV campaign

Amazon’s audio book arm Audible is mounting its first TV campaign as it looks to build awareness and behaviours with consumers.

Audible Australia head of operations Matthew Gain told Mumbrella they needed to build recognition of the category in the market in order to build its share, as it moves towards its second anniversary in Australia.

“It’s not like the SVOD market with Netflix, Stan and Presto where people already know how to watch TV, and where and when they like to do it,” he said.

“But audio books is a new behaviour, and what we need to do is educate people on how this fits into their life. It’s something for when your eyes are busy but your mind is free, like driving or at the gym.”

That definition puts audio books squarely up against radio, audio streaming and increasingly podcasts in a battle for people’s ears at commuting times.

Gain said the rise in popularity of podcasts actually presents Audible with an opportunity, as the brand looks to branch out into more short form content, saying they were looking to connect with the local creative community around things like comedy, podcasts and lectures as new content for the platform.

He pointed to Audible Channels in the US, a service made available to all Amazon Prime subscribers, as an example of the kind of content they would look to create.


Gain: ‘Audio books are a new behaviour’

“We recorded 100 titles last year using Australian authors and actors,” he said. “For example we recorded Michelle Bridges’ new book with her reading it.

“Audible in the US is commissioning content that looks a lot like podcasts on the network, and from our point of view they are better than podcasts. Whilst the majority of our content is books, and that remains a big focus for us, we’re looking to expand our spoken word content.”

Gain said it had done some advertising locally on podcasts, but questioned how effective it would be for Australian podcasters as a monetisation tool.

“I think as a podcast creator I wouldn’t be looking at advertising as the most effective way of monetising,” he said.

“Quite simply we found the reach here in Australia does not stack up compared to other media in terms of return on investment.”

He also said it was “bonkers” that there was no effective way of tracking downloads and listen rates on some of the major podcast platforms.

While PR and search have been the main channel for the brand since it launched at the end of 2014 in Australia, it has slowly been experimenting with other channels with a foray into cinema advertising and outdoor with APN Outdoor’s X-Track TV.

Asked which channels had proven most effective for the brand marketing director Leane Cartwright-Bradford said: “We got a great result from our PR campaigns and performance marketing, and we were particularly pleased with the cinema campaign and X-Track TV.

“For us it’s about the mix at the moment and working out what works where and what should be always on content.”

Leane Cartwright-Bradford

Leane Cartwright-Bradford: ‘It’s about the mix at the moment’

Locally Audible works with One Green Bean for PR, M2M for media and M&C Saatchi Mobile. The ads were redubbed by Risk Sound, which records the local audio books.

The TV campaign will run in Sydney featuring two international spots which have been voiced over for the Australian market, and be supported by a national radio campaign.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.