Blackstone Audio

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Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Private
IndustryPublishing
Founded1987
FounderCraig & Michelle Black
Headquarters
Key people
Josh Stanton (CEO)
ProductsAudiobooks, Print Books, and eBooks
Number of employees
250-300 (2019)
Websitewww.blackstoneaudio.com

Blackstone Audio is one of the largest independent audiobook publishers in the United States, offering over 30,000 audiobooks.[1] The company is based in Ashland, Oregon with five in-house recording studios. Blackstone distributes directly to consumers via their subscription e-commerce site, Downpour.com, and to the library market with titles from Blackstone, MacMillan, Hachette, HarperCollins, Brilliance, BBC and Disney Press.[1][2]

Blackstone has made deals with other audiobook companies where Blackstone manufactures physical CD & MP3 CD format media and distributes them to retail and library locations. Labels under this program include Naxos AudioBooks and Recorded Books.

Corporate history[edit]

Blackstone was founded in 1987 by Craig and Michelle Black, originally under the name Classics on Tape. The company later assumed the name Blackstone, taken from an English literary magazine. The company's location in Ashland, Oregon was influenced by the proximity of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which Blackstone used as a pool for voice actors.[3]

In August 2012, Blackstone launched an audiobook e-commerce / subscription website, Downpour.com, providing Blackstone audio titles as well as other publisher's titles to the retail market.[4][5][6] In January 2013 the company was acquired by AudioGO for an undisclosed sum.[7] Ten months later, in October of that year, AudioGO went bankrupt and sold Blackstone and its other US operations back to the Black family, with the UK arm of AudioGO ceasing business operations as it sought a buyer or investor.[8][9]

In 2017 they bought Auburn, Calif., direct-to-consumer audiobook retailer, AudioEditions.[10]

In January 2019, they announced a deal to exclusively distribute Naxos AudioBooks physical CD titles.[11] And in September 2019 added Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Audio.[citation needed]

In November 2015, they expanded with Blackstone Publishing, a new imprint devoted to print and e-books. They launched with its first original hardcover, The Blood Flag, a thriller by James W. Huston, and rolled out paperback and e-book editions of four western novels.[12]

In August of 2020, Blackstone announced a deal with Recorded Books to exclusively manufacture RB's 14,000+ audiobook titles on physical media (CD & MP3) and distribute to retail and library locations in North America.[13]

Authors[edit]

Authors published by Blackstone Publishing include Orson Scott Card, Meg Gardiner, Matthew Mather, and John Altman. In 2018, Blackstone acquired the North American unabridged rights for print/e-book and world rights for audio to James Clavell's catalog.[14]

Awards[edit]

In December 2011, Blackstone Audio's production of Hamlet at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival was nominated for a Grammy Award.[15] In 2014 the company won two Audie Awards.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Blackstone Audio - About Us". Blackstone Audio Inc. Archived from the original on April 26, 2018. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  2. ^ "FEDLINK Services Directory: Blackstone Audiobooks". Library of Congress. Retrieved September 6, 2010.
  3. ^ Mann, Danielle. "Blackstone Audio, Inc". The Oregon Encyclopedia. The Oregon Historical Society. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  4. ^ "First thoughts on Downpour: DRM-free and beta-testing (updated)". The AudioBookaneers. October 11, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  5. ^ "Downpour.com–an audiobook delivery system that just works". SFFAudio.com. March 6, 2013. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  6. ^ "Downpour.com". Download.com. January 5, 2014. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
  7. ^ "AudioGO Acquires Blackstone Audio". Publishers Weekly. January 4, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  8. ^ "AudioGO suspends business operations". The Bookseller. October 22, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  9. ^ "Blackstone Audio buys AudioGO US arm". Publishers Weekly. October 23, 2013. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
  10. ^ "Blackstone Audio Buys Audio Editions". Publishers Weekly.
  11. ^ "Blackstone Publishing to Be the Exclusive Manufacturer and Distributor for Naxos AudioBooks". www.wrcbtv.com. Archived from the original on March 6, 2019.
  12. ^ "BEA 2016: Blackstone Audio Expands into Print". Publishers Weekly.
  13. ^ "Blackstone Publishing to Manufacture, Sell, and Distribute Audiobook CDs Published by Recorded Books". Blackstone Publishing. August 18, 2020. Retrieved September 18, 2020 – via Yahoo! News.
  14. ^ PR Web https://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15513866.htm. Retrieved January 10, 2020. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ "Blackstone up for Grammys". Ashland Daily Tidings. December 12, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  16. ^ "2014 Audie Award winners". Library Journal. June 12, 2014. Retrieved November 13, 2014.

External links[edit]