Amazon’s Audible is feeling the heat as Spotify, the music streaming giant, takes a giant leap into the ever-expanding world of audiobooks. The concerns were unveiled during an internal all-hands meeting this week, where Audible CEO Bob Carrigan addressed employee inquiries about the company’s focus on competition rather than customer needs, according to a recording obtained by Business Insider.
In response to the query, Carrigan acknowledged the impact of Spotify’s recent foray into audiobooks, especially with the launch of free audiobooks for its premium subscribers. Describing Spotify’s move as a “classic tech company freemium approach,” Carrigan emphasized the need for heightened awareness, noting the significance of having a subscription-based, fully inclusive competitor with a massive user base.
The internal meeting is crucial considering that it is held in the aftermath of Audible’s recent move to reduce its workforce by 5 percent. The meeting also covered a range of topics, which included layoffs, low staff morale, and the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs. Carrigan defended Audible’s position by highlighting the company’s commitment to maintaining competitive pricing while enhancing the value of its offerings.
Despite Audible’s confidence in appealing to both casual and avid audiobook consumers, Carrigan acknowledged that Spotify’s move is “a bit unprecedented” due to the sheer size and scale of the music streaming giant. “A year ago we didn’t have a subscription-based, fully included competitor that has hundreds of millions of customers,” Carrigan emphasized, deeming it essential for Audible to closely monitor such a transformative development.
Carrigan reiterated Amazon’s mantra of “be customer focused, competitor aware,” while reassuring employees that he remains dedicated to spending 90 percent of his day focused on Audible’s customers and creators. Carrigan also reiterated Amazon’s mantra of “be customer focused, competitor aware,” while also admitting Spotify’s entry into Audible’s core market has introduced a new dynamic.
Emphasizing the importance of being mindful of both customers and competitors, Carrigan underscored the need for Audible to navigate this new landscape with strategic awareness. “We also discussed how we are customer obsessed and competitor aware, reinforcing that Audible remains well-positioned for future growth and continued innovation,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
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