AFTRA is Ahead of the Curve with Audiobooks

Your Host Danny Pardo
Published: Saturday, July 24th, 2010


Modern technology is evolving at a staggering pace, and that evolution has had a great impact on the audiobook industry. As the industry has advanced, so has AFTRA in its representation of members who perform audiobook narration. Created in 1931 by the Library of Congress as “talking books” for the visually impaired, audiobooks have blossomed into a vital segment of the entertainment industry. In the last five years, the industry has more than doubled.


At the 2005 AFTRA National Convention in Los Angeles, delegates identified the expanding audiobook market as one of the top priority areas for AFTRA’s organizing efforts. The National Audiobook Steering Committee was revitalized. AFTRA’s organizing efforts include direct interaction with emerging audiobook producers and narrators to familiarize them with AFTRA and how both performers and producers, and the industry as a whole, benefit from working with an AFTRA contract.


Audiobooks have evolved from their original purpose into an entertainment and information art form all their own. Music, sound effects, and poetic narration now creatively compliment the recorded word.


As the audiobook industry shifts, so does the way in which consumers interact with and listen to audiobooks. Today, people can listen to an audiobook while jogging, relaxing, commuting and cooking dinner. Consumers can buy audiobooks in a store or simply download them directly onto their computer or smart phone. Throughout this exciting evolution, however, it’s important top remember audiobook’s original significance as an educational tool, and it still is.


It is also interesting to know that one of our Actors Reporter hosts, theatre and voice over actor Dan Woren, frequently is a reader for audiobooks. It just goes to remind us that there are many acting opportunities for those who seek them out.


For more information, please visit AFTRA MAGAZINE at:





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Photographer John Michael Ferrari - Images by Ferrari

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