Stock Watch: Audible Up After Random House Deal

Audible, Inc. rose 1 3/4 to close at 6 7/16 Thursday after the company, which makes downloadable versions of audio documents available over the Internet, announced an alliance with Random House.

The companies will create a new venture for digitally produced audio books. Random House Audible will be part of Random House’s audio publishing division, and the books will be distributed exclusively on the Internet by Audible.

Random House will also buy an undisclosed number of Audible common shares and warrants, and Erik Engstrom, Random House president and chief operating officer, will have a seat on Audible’s board. “Random House believes downloading of digital audio content to be the most significant engine of growth for the spoken word and audiobook industry in the future,” said Engstrom.

Random House will oversee the publishing side of the venture, including acquisition of titles and development of content — which will include digital audiobooks — and serialized content and other original programming.

The releases will be playable on mobile digital audio players as well as personal computers, the companies said. Audible produces works by book, magazine and newspaper publishers, as well as businesses and educational and cultural institutions.

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