June 30, 2005

iPod, uPod, we're all gonna Pod . . .


“That folks can pick up a gadget approximately the size of a cigarette lighter at their local library, programmed with a current bestseller for their listening pleasure, is the realization of countless sci-fi movies and Philip K. Dick novels,” and, says Rachel Deahl, “The future has clearly arrived: Apple‘s immensely popular iPod — the software company shipped 5.3 million of the variously priced and sized devices in its second fiscal quarter of 2005 alone — is making consumers more comfortable with the idea of downloading audiobooks and listening on-the-go.” In fact, in an in-depth report for The Book Standard, Deahl talks to many who say that iPods are having a immediate—and immense—impact, but other kinds DAB‘s (Digital Audio Books) are doing remarkably well, too. Perhaps driven by lower costs (DABs are often as much as 40% less expensive than other kinds of audio books) they have done well with the traditional Baby Boomer demographic, but they also attract younger listeners as well. Says Deahl, ” For an industry constantly confronting the fear that it is thoroughly invested in a dying product, the growing popularity of DABs may point to salvation, promising to bring in younger, and more, consumers.”

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.