Audiblegate Campaign: Fair Deal for Rights Holders
In October 2020, a reporting error on the Amazon’s audiobook self-publishing platform ACX revealed some worrying indications about how Amazon Audible’s “easy exchange and return” program was funded. Under this program, audiobook listeners are encouraged to swap out a book once they’ve listened to it, at no cost. The glitch seemed to show that Audible had been secretly deducting the costs of this “returns” scheme from rights holders’ share of the revenue, not their own.
If a book was “returned”, Audible deducted the money they had originally paid to the author, publisher or narrator–even though the listener had fully consumed and enjoyed the book.