Apple has made a bold move to revolutionize the audiobook market with the launch of a catalogue of books narrated by artificial intelligence. This could be a game-changer for the industry, as it could potentially replace the need for human narrators. Apple’s strategy is sure to draw attention to the company’s competitive practices, but it also promises to open up a new world of possibilities for audiobook listeners.
The audiobook market has seen an incredible surge in popularity in recent years, with technology companies vying for a piece of the pie. Last year, sales skyrocketed by 25%, generating an impressive $1.5bn in revenue. Industry experts are optimistic that the global audiobook market could reach a staggering $35bn by 2030. Apple had planned to launch the project in mid-November, but due to the unfortunate circumstances of layoffs at Meta and the disruption caused by Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, the technology sector was in a state of uncertainty.
As a result, Apple decided to delay the project launch until the situation stabilized. Apple’s development of AI to narrate books is a major milestone in the tech industry and could be a game-changer for the future of audiobooks. This exciting new technology has the potential to revolutionize the way people access and enjoy literature and could open up a whole new world of possibilities for audiobook listeners. With AI-powered narration, readers can experience books in a whole new way, and Apple is leading the charge in this innovative field. Producing an audiobook with a human voice can be a lengthy and expensive process for publishers.
However, the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers a cost-effective solution that could drastically reduce the time and money spent on creating audiobooks, but many are not convinced that the robots will make the job of the narrator redundant any time yet.
James Brown, a professional voice-over actor, founder of James Brown Voice, and former broadcast journalist shared his thoughts with us, and what he thought after listening to the audio clip above.
“AI will eventually hoover up the low-hanging fruit, and it has a place if you simply want a cheap voiceover, and there are plenty of people who do. But it simply doesn’t have the adaptability to convey real emotional insight. The woman who has given her voice to that AI is clearly a talented VO but it’s lost on the story because she can’t react to the words that she’s seeing and put actual, relevant feeling into them. In the end voiceover is about connecting with the audience in a real way and provoking them either to take action or to remember the message you’re trying to put across. An AI voice doesn’t, yet, have that capacity. If you want a voice to make your consumers feel something, that has to be done by an empathetic human.”
Apple’s recent move to expand its audiobook offerings is likely to draw further attention from lawmakers in Europe and the United States, who have been closely monitoring the company’s practices in light of allegations of anti-competitive behaviour. This expansion of Apple’s audiobook selection is sure to be met with further scrutiny, as lawmakers continue to investigate the company’s potential impact on competition.
Apple’s move to revolutionise the audiobook market with AI-narrated books is a bold and potentially game-changing move. It could open up a new world of possibilities for audiobook listeners, while also drawing attention to the company’s competitive practices. While it remains to be seen how successful this venture will be, it is clear that Apple is taking a risk that could pay off in the long run. With the potential to revolutionise the audiobook industry, Apple’s move will surely be watched closely by the industry and audiobook listeners alike.