As an audiobook retail platform, Naver’s Audioclip has been operating in South Korea since December 2018, and marks its first anniversary with an announcement that it will be heading into audiobook subscription in 2020.
Audioclip ran a 5 month beta before the December launch, so has seventeen months of experience to draw on, and is inspired by the growth of audio in the western markets, and of course by the arrival of Storytel in South Korea last month.
While Storytel is fielding 50,000 titles on its South Korea site, only a fraction of those will be in Korean at this stage. By contrast Audioclip is working with 60 Korean publishers with over 10,000 Korean titles, in addition to some foreign-language content.
Currently Audioclip has 23,000 MAUs, with a cumulative user total of 210,000.
In retail Audioclip has seen its bestselling titles clear 10,000-20,000 paid units.
In addition Audioclip offers a rental option, so a full-blown digital subscription service was always just a matter of time. Audiocliop CEO Naver Inhee has now confirmed that is set for a 2020 launch.
As well as taking completed works from publishers Audioclip is investing in production in partnership with Korean publishers.
Other innovations include reworking classics in modern language, reinterpreting long literary works to fit a 60-80 hour audio format, and “compact” audio n which non-fiction works are summarized in compact form. Six titles were released this year and the programme will be expanded in 2020.