audibleACX is changing its royalty payments – and not in a good way.

ACX is a digital audiobook site owned by Amazon, which has become a place for self-publishers to get their audiobooks onto the market. The company announced the change on its site on Thursday.

Previously content creators who sold exclusively through Amazon and Audible received 50 to 90 percent of the royalty, depending on the number of units sold. Those who went the non-exclusive route got a royalty rate between 25 and 70 percent.

Now that rate has changed. Right Holders who use Audible, Amazon and iTunes exclusively will earn 40 percent royalties while non-exclusive agreements will get 25 percent of the royalty.

This takes effect March 12 for new projects. Audiobooks already created or accepted will be paid under the old structure

Laura Hazard Owen at GigaOm notes in her article: “The change to ACX’s royalty structure is a reminder that Amazon could also reduce its royalties on self-published Kindle books at any time.”

So it is time to get worried?


However, Amazon has more competition in the e-book market. While the downfall of Nook seems to be escalating with every shareholders call, there are still many platforms out there for e-book services, including distribution.

The difference between Audible and Amazon’s e-book platform is that the audiobook service was still rather new – and gaining as much legitimacy as it could in the audiobook world. Audible had once offered a $1 for every audiobook sold, but discontinued that after a certain time.

Companies have these types of promotions to entice new business. Once it has gained a strong foothold where the business is coming in at a quicker pace, a company will reevaluate to see if the pricing structure is right for them.

It seems ACX felt it was time for a change, especially when they did not have much competition in the audiobook world.

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