Amazon’s subscription audiobook service, Audible, is now acquiring rights to highly anticipated books in order to license the audio versions in-house, then sell off print and e-book rights.

According to the Association of American Publishers, audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment of the publishing business, having grown 20 percent in the first eight months of 2017 compared to the same period a year earlier, while print book sales grew 1.5 percent and e-book sales dropped 5.4 percent.

Google and Walmart are looking to compete in the audiobook space, with Google selling audiobooks in its Google Play store and Walmart partnering with Japanese retail giant Rakuten.

Penguin Random House and HarperCollins are also fighting Audible’s dominance by only buying a new book if they can also handle the audiobook rights themselves, in many cases.

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