Carla Herbertson joined Zebralution, a leading distributor of digital media content, as their Head of UK Audio Content in January. She has been working in the audio industry for twenty years, starting her career as a BBC Producer across a variety of programmes. Before joining Zebralution in January, Carla developed audio strategies for numerous services and products for the Royal National Institute for Blind People.
Please join me on a short journey…
We’re in an old enchanting library; the scent of books fills the room. Paperbacks and hardbacks are piled up, shelved and stored as far as the eye can see. Behind a desk a young, headphone-wearing librarian is engrossed in print. This is a place where you can easily hide away for the day, escaping in adventures and love stories whilst solving crimes and soaking up worldly facts.
Behind one of the shelves a door leads you to a dark chamber; it’s not so stuffy, the air feels strangely light and words appear to dance through the air. You can hear whispers of stories, voices are calling, but you can’t see anything and you’re not sure what’s there. Then the headphone-wearing librarian suddenly appears next to you. He turns on the light, revealing the hidden gems of this magical room: audiobooks.
The app, Spooks, is our librarian: a free personal guide that helps you discover your next amazing listen on Spotify. They know where all the books are and know what they’re about. From comedy, sci fi, crime, romance and classics to children’s stories, they are across it and their mission is to point you in the right direction.
Since 2010, digital audiobooks and especially streaming has become an important factor in Zebralution’s portfolio, acquiring the entire catalogue of 4 out of 5 high profile German publishers. Considering the specific needs of audiobooks in an initially music-focused environment and the desire to make the spoken-word content more visible, Zebralution launched Spooks in Germany first. More than 200,000 downloads were achieved, mainly by worth of mouth.
We are now rolling out our successful streaming model globally, acquiring new English Language content as we speak (most recently partnering with Canongate Books). The app is available in both the UK and US.
Spooks shows the audiobooks which are available on Spotify Premium and plays them inside the users Spotify app by clicking the play symbol in Spooks (*). The app works on both iOS and Android and allows people to browse through various categories and recommendations, offering short summaries and notes on authors and narrators. Zebralution prides itself of being user driven: Not only can listeners suggest audiobooks to be included they can write and share their reviews. With a further investment the app will continue to be optimised and developed.
It would be great to every so often wander back to the enchanting library where words and sentences sway through the air and are revealed by one switch of the light, ready to be listened to and enjoyed. But with your personal librarian, Spooks, able to guide you to some incredible stories, moments like these don’t have to be rare occasions and can be relished whenever and wherever.
* After selecting an audiobook, Spooks links to Spotify. This is not an app by Spotify. While our app allows for the unlimited playback of audiobooks, a premium access on Spotify is required.
Zebralution is one of the leading distributors of digital media content, from music and videos, audiobooks and dramas to mobile entertainment products, with offices in Germany, London, Paris, Barcelona and Los Angeles.