The Bookseller breaks the news today that Amazon’s Audible UK has partnered with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) in a three year deal worth £150,000 ($195,000).

Explains The Bookseller,

The two organisations will develop the next generation of acting talent through scholarships and training opportunities in audio entertainment, while original audio plays will also be created in collaboration between Audible and students from LAMDA’s acting courses.
The Amazon-owned audiobook company will fund a scholarship to support an undergraduate student on LAMDA’s BA (Hons) Professional Acting course, covering the full three years of tuition fees. It will go to a student in need of financial assistance who has “a specialised interest” in audio recording.
The partnership will enhance students’ audio skills through workshops held at Audible’s studios, with classes including tutorials on microphone technique, assistance in creating voice reels, and career advice from industry professionals. The firm will also fund new technology for LAMDA’s training facilities while the project will pilot new writing by developing audio plays especially for young people.

While nothing has been spelled out, it’s reasonable to assume this new partnership will be used to bolster Amazon’s own publishing ambitions, bringing into play a band of professional actors that will be on call to work not just Amazon’s A-Pub audiobooks, but original audio content across a range of formats, and of course also conveniently tapping into a pool of talent that will bolster Amazon’s video ambitions.
Mainstream publishers have thus far been diligent in riding the rising wave of popularity of digital audio, and unlike with ebooks there is little perceived cannibalization of print, so publishers are understandably more comfortable with audiobooks than ebooks.
But clearly if publishers are to hold their own against A-Pub the audiobook arena then there is much more to do.