Saturday, February 04, 2006

BMW drives into audio book podcasts
By Amanda Andrews, Media Business Correspondent

The advertising and publishing industries have collaborated in a landmark deal to create a series of podcast books featuring product placement.

Leading authors at the publisher Random House, including the bestselling crime writer Karin Slaughter and the Californian writer Don Winslow, have written 45-minute audio books. Each audio book features a different BMW car.

Jonathan Hill, head of innovation at WCRS, the advertising agency behind the 118 118 and BMW Mini campaigns, said that the creation of BMW Audio Books, which will be available only as free downloads, was a new approach to advertising in the UK.

The popularity of MP3 players had led to an increased demand for podcasts and this form of advertising could soon become more commonplace, he said.

The books are intended to be the length of the average car journey. The first podcast, Don Winslow’s The Beautiful Ride, was made available yesterday on a specially designed website,

A new tale will be available every two weeks, including Karin Slaughter’s Cold Cold Heart. Other featured authors are James Flint and Simon Kernick.

Media news, Times Online

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