HONG KONG–TrueLake Holdings Limited has secured exclusive audiobook rights for mainland China to blockbuster novels by several of the world’s best-selling authors, and beginning today will release the first-ever authorized, high-quality recordings of these classic titles into China’s fast-growing audiobook market.
The first of TrueLake’s titles, George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, is now available on a custom-created TrueLake audiobook app available for iOS devices. An Android version will be released in early 2018.
TrueLake has secured exclusive Chinese audiobook rights to all five books of Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice and is producing broadcast-quality recordings narrated by well-known TV and radio personality Li Yemo. Following the release of A Game of Thrones, TrueLake plans to release one additional book from A Song of Fire and Ice each month.
“Game of Thrones has been the most popular foreign TV series ever to hit China,” said TrueLake Audio CEO Cliff Miller. “But government editing on the novel has been more lenient than in the TV version, so listeners will get a more full-blooded and intense experience. A Game of Thrones is a terrific title to launch our audiobook business.”
TrueLake will also release Dan Brown’s global megahits The DaVinci Code and Inferno, followed by nine Stephen King titles that have been licensed exclusively for the TrueLake audiobook library in mainland China, including Different Seasons, IT, Bag of Bones, Under the Dome, The Green Mile and Lisey’s Story.
By the end of 2017, TrueLake plans to release 20 titles by Martin, Brown, King and other best-selling authors, and is in negotiations to license more than 50 additional titles in the coming months.
Globally, audiobook unit sales increased 33.9 percent in 2016 (based on data from the Audio Publishers Association), with revenue growth of about 20 percent annually for the past three years.
The Chinese market has also seen exponential growth, but is rife with unlicensed works. Miller notes that unauthorized audio files of the popular titles in TrueLake’s catalog have been downloaded millions of times. “We’re deploying industrial-strength software to flush out pirates, and we’ve lined up high-powered local and international law firms to take legal action when needed,” he said.
“Our goal is to bring Chinese audiobook listeners the best-selling, most popular titles in the world, and to lead this huge market to stronger growth,” Miller added, “while building respect for the intellectual-property rights of authors.”
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