Think Ink Media’s Reado Audiobooks has signed a large audiobooks deal with Simon & Schuster Audio. With this, Reado can distribute and sell 2,000 audiobooks produced by Simon & Schuster Audio in India in digital (MP3) format that can be downloaded from Reado’s website.

Founder of Reado Audiobooks, Sumit Suneja said

We expect to see an increase of 50 – 60% in the audiobooks sales for us in the next two quarters. Audiobooks market in India itself will grow at 100% rate in the next 5 years, expected to be a $600 million dollar global industry.

Reado has already partnered with publishers like Penguin, Hachette and Audibles.com among others.

The company also digitally watermarks audiobooks with proprietary software to prevent piracy. Reado audio books are retailed from over 200 stores across India.

Audiobooks in India : Challenges

The biggest challenge facing the audiobook industry is surprisingly is not the lack of acceptance by the readers; rather still it has been the legal and other complexities of the system. The challenge of the licensing fees for the audiobooks followed by the taxes imposed by the government. The problem of arranging a good voice over artist, along with an effective background ground score to match the mood of the book are things to be considered which are vital to an aural experience. Piracy has always been a bane for the music industry and the same holds true for the audiobook publishers. But with recent technologies, many of them have started offering DRM free audiobooks with a watermarking feature to keep a track of the pirates. [read:India: Going the Audio way, A look at Audiobook Market in India]