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Audible Cuts Workforce Amid Uncertainties in Digital Audiobook Market

Layoffs Announced by CEO Bob Carrigan

In a memo to staff, Audible CEO Bob Carrigan announced workforce reductions, affecting approximately 100 employees, representing 5% of the company’s staff. Citing the need to position Audible for continued success in a challenging landscape, Carrigan emphasized the importance of operating leaner and more efficiently in the long term.

Strong 2023 Performance Despite Industry Uncertainties

Despite the workforce reduction, Audible’s business reported a strong 2023, indicating overall stability. However, the digital audiobook industry faces an uncertain environment in 2024, prompting Audible to take proactive measures to ensure its continued leadership in the market.

Factors Contributing to the Layoffs

Spotify’s Entry into the Digital Audiobook Market

Spotify’s entry into the digital audiobook space poses a significant challenge to Audible’s dominance. The competition is expected to intensify in the coming year, as Spotify’s vast user base and extensive music library could potentially attract audiobook listeners.

Advancements in AI and Synthetic Speech Technology

New breakthroughs in AI introduce both challenges and opportunities for audiobook platforms. Platforms struggle to balance traditional publishing with synthetic voice-narrated audiobooks, which offer convenience and affordability but may lack the emotional depth of human narration.

Example: Kindle Direct Publishing’s Beta Test

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) initiated a beta test for authors to create audiobooks using virtual voice narration. This technology allows authors to produce audiobooks from their e-books effortlessly, potentially increasing competition and expanding audiobook availability. Independent research revealed a substantial increase in synthetic voice-narrated audiobooks on Audible.

Ripple Effects of Layoffs in Amazon’s Other Business Units

Amazon’s Prime Video and MGM Studios divisions also announced staff reductions, indicating broader cost-cutting measures within the company. The Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch experienced job cuts as well, reflecting the challenging economic climate and the need for efficiency across Amazon’s various business units.


Audible’s workforce reduction aligns with broader cost-cutting measures within Amazon’s various business units. The layoffs reflect the evolving dynamics of the digital audiobook industry in the face of competition and technological advancements. Audible aims to remain competitive and adapt to the changing landscape while maintaining its leading position in the market.