Yesterday I found myself wondering why it is that new ways of listening to audiobooks are getting so much attention?
Stories about audiobooks, in general, seem to focus on road trips and keeping the kids quiet in the back seat, rather than how generally cool they are.
And as anyone reading this blog must already believe, Audiobooks are great, cool, awesome, neat… people should be writing about them all the time.
Well, I shouldn’t complain.
Anything that gets people to listen to books is a good thing. Audiobooks downloads are already growing incredibly fast and surprisingly even to me. Given that there are about a dozen companies out there offering audiobook downloads, and that’s great.
I just have this skeptical reaction to ‘new technology’ stories touting the latest thing as if everyone has it or wants it. Sometimes it’s genuine (like with downloadable audiobooks), but often it’s just another idea that tech editors think is nifty, but the general public thinks is useless.
I loved a study in Wired magazine from 2002… cellphones were just beginning to have the capability of doing commercial transactions. I’m doing this from memory, but the gist was:
5 years earlier, 95% of consumers surveyed said they’d use their cellphones for buying things. 3 years earlier, 50% said they’d use their cellphones for buying things. And that year (when it was finally possible), only 1% said they’d use their cellphones that way.
Never ask people for their opinions.
That’s what I think.