August 1, 2014

Playaway Preloaded Audiobooks To Gain Reload Option

By Raya Kuzyk

  • Next month, audiobook devices can be sent back for reload
  • Revamped web site to offer more tools, options
  • Is Playaway lifespan 1000 plays?

Not all audiobooks sustain interest over the long term, but libraries that circulate the preloaded audiobook device Playaway will soon have the option of reloading their players with new, discounted titles. On September 22, Playaway maker Findaway will debut the Library Replay program, with a $10 discount on replacement titles. (Cost per unit ranges from $19.99 to $114.99 but is typically around $30.)

Playaway Playaway Preloaded Audiobooks To Gain Reload OptionFindaway has been offering the Replay option to the consumer market since late 2006. Marketing and Public Relations Director Caroline Barni told LJ that the company next extensively tested the service with its library customers before beginning development of Library Replay in early 2008. The program will launch concurrently with new online tools and will give libraries the option of either getting a new six-month Replay warranty with each reloaded player or keeping the remainder of the older title’s one-year warranty, whichever is greater.

How many times can a single Playaway unit be reloaded? Barni said a recent Findaway study showed a “large sample” of Playaways remained “like new” through 1000 play scenarios each. Findaway’s customer research shows that Playaways circulate on average between 20 and 25 times annually.

New online home
The program will launch concurrently a library-geared web site (playaway.com, to replace the current site, playawaydigital.com).Findaway is responding to its library customers’ desire for more search options, more information on titles, and tools to create, save, and share lists of titles. It also will add sample audio clips.

Playaways currently circulate in more than 11,000 libraries. Earlier this month Findaway celebrated the shipment of its millionth unit (Learn Anywhere!: Arabic, to a U.S. military library in Iraq).

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