Audiobooks_ Ghana’s AkooBooks Is Relaunching With Beat

Unique: The brand new AkooBooks/Beat platform will attain 19 African nations with audiobooks, podcasts, and ebooks.

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘For These Who Love Tales’


hen commerce guests and exhibitors at Frankfurter Buchmesse hear from Accra-based Ama Dadson and Nathan Hull on the new Publishing Views Discussion board (12 p.m. October 20), they’ll be speaking a couple of forthcoming main relaunch of Dadson’s AkooBooks Audio as Ghana’s first writer and streaming platform for Black and/or African audiobooks and different spoken-word content material.

The brand new evocation of AkooBooks is to be lively this 12 months, properly forward of the handover to Accra as UNESCO World E-book Capital in 2023.

Described as a “multi-tiered, credit-based service” obtainable in each Android and iOS, the AkooBooks platform is being designed as a pan-African service reaching shoppers in at the least 19 international locations and permitting customers to pay utilizing their cellular wallets, the commonest digital-payment type in most African international locations.

AkooBooks’ new redevelopment as a platform is backed by the Bergen-based Beat Expertise, acquainted to Publishing Views readers for creating platforms for European publishers and teams of publishers.

A Beat platform permits publishers to promote and/or stream audio and e book merchandise to their very own client bases. Examples of Beat’s work within the area are the Netherlands’ service Fluister (Dutch for Whisper); the Echo platform in Romania; a partnership with Germany’s; and a trio of publishers in Denmark–Gyldendal, Gads Forlag, and Modtryk. Beat’s installations’ customers now whole some 300,000 paying subscribers.

The forthcoming “rebranded and reimagined” enterprise will characteristic audiobooks, podcasts, and e book titles in indigenous African and Ghanaian languages together with Ga, Twi and Kiswahili, in addition to curated content material in English and French.

Dadson: ‘African Tales by African Authors’

If the title AkooBooks is ringing a bell, it’s as a result of Dadson—winner of the 2021 Startup of the 12 months award from Girls in Tech Africa—has constructed a considerable native catalogue, in addition to casting and recording titles in Accra for main gamers together with Hachette Audio. That has resulted in native Ghanaian authors together with Efua Sutherland, Ama Ata Aidoo, and Meschack Asare, having work obtainable side-by-side with internationally common authors akin to Alexander McCall Smith (WF Howes) and Tayari Jones (Recorded Books).

Way back to 2019, Dadson in an interview with Publishing Views talked of getting recognized a significant swath of African populations and “the problem confronted by the busy city working class in a lot of our high-traffic cities.

“They spend hours commuting to work every day,” Dadson stated, “both strolling or by public transport, and are unable to learn throughout such commutes. Audiobooks may be extraordinarily handy for them and a approach to make use of their time profitably and maintain them enthralled and [let them] escape from the chaos for a short while.”

Dadson, an skilled Frankfurt Audio exhibitor, spoke in June 2019 on the Worldwide Publishers Affiliation‘s (IPA) “Africa Rising” seminar in Nairobi, hosted by the Kenya Publishers Affiliation. Initially, she’d been drawn to the audiobook area as a response to vision-challenged readers: her mom had misplaced her website.

“African tales by African authors, advised in African voices. We wish to push the richness and vibrancy of our continent’s literature for many who love tales. “ Ama Dadson, AkooBooks Audio

And her survey work with 10,000 college students on the College of Ghana–the place she had served as deputy director of IT–had discovered that solely 43 % stated they’d downloaded or listened to an audiobook at the least as soon as. Of those that had engaged with audiobooks, solely 10 % stated they’d listened to content material by African writers.

By 2017, Dadson had arrange the unique version of AkooBooks, proving that the necessity and curiosity was there within the sturdy response she had from shoppers.

And now, Dadson says, “Black and African voices, tales, and authors deserve their very own platform and that’s what we’re delivering right here.

“African tales by African authors, advised in African voices,” she says. “We wish to push the richness and vibrancy of our continent’s literature for many who love tales.

“We wish to attain kids with accessible digital codecs. And we wish to attain our entrepreneurs with inspirational enterprise titles.”

Hull: ‘Lastly We’re Collaborating on a Mission’

For his half, Hull, who’s Beat’s chief technique officer, tells Publishing Views, “Ama’s drive and fervour for audiobooks and storytelling has impressed me for years. Lastly, we’re collaborating on a mission, and it really has the potential fulfil one in all Beat’s goals in main approach—making books and literature obtainable to everybody attainable.

“Our platform, mixed with the backing help of and MTN—in addition to a raft of different plans within the pipeline—means the all-new AkooBooks can get tales into the eyes and ears of hundreds of thousands of African residents throughout the huge continent, all with zero-rated information. Eradicating information fees for African shoppers accessing these massive audio information was a vital step in our planning.

“Whereas obtainable in a number of markets from the outset, the preliminary focus for onboarding clients onto the service shall be Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Cameroon. After that, we’ll watch the information fastidiously to information us on the place our advertising consideration goes subsequent.

“The service will stay and breathe on the standard of the content material it affords.” Nathan Hull, Beat Expertise

“The service will stay and breathe on the standard of the content material it affords, so it has been very encouraging to listen to enthusiastic responses in our talks with main English- and French-language publishers who’re eager to help development in literacy and entry to books in Africa.”

AkooBooks will characteristic titles from presses together with Ghana’s Afram Publications and Sub-Saharan Publishers, Nigeria’s Ouida Books, and main worldwide works by writers together with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Dorothy Koomson; and Michael Donkor from Harper Collins’ United States and United Kingdom catalogues, Macmillan UK, WF Howes, and RB Media.

Publishing Views understands that additional English and French catalogues are at present beneath negotiation for inclusion within the initiative.

At Frankfurt, please be part of us for the inaugural version of Publishing Views Discussion board, a two-day program of main and influential professionals within the worldwide publishing business discussing right this moment’s challenges, dynamics, and tendencies.

“The Audiobook Retail Evolution” panel which incorporates commentary from Hull and Dadson can even characteristic Bookwire’s Jens Klingelhöfer and shall be moderated by Publishing Views’ Hannah Johnson. Attendance is freed from cost for all Frankfurter Buchmesse exhibitors and commerce guests. This system language is English. You’ll discover full particulars and growing information right here.

Extra from Publishing Views on audio and audiobooks in publishing is right here, extra on distribution is right here, extra on digital publishing is right here, and extra on Africa’s markets is right here.

Publishing Views is the Worldwide Publishers Affiliation’s world media companion.

Extra from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impression on worldwide e book publishing is right here.