Amazon.com Inc.’s Audible audiobook service is purchasing online comedy service Rooftop Media Inc. The deal, first reported by Reuters, is one small step in the e-commerce giant’s long-term plan to become a force in digital media.
Audible already has more than 100,000 programs, including a number of audiobooks, but it has been looking to expand into comedy, CEO Donald Katz said in a statement. The company declined to disclose terms of the deal.
Amazon previously had been increasing its footprint in digital media to compete with rivals such as Netflix and HBO. The retailer provides the content, like original television series, at no additional cost to members of its Prime subscription service. It charges $99 per year to members, who often then are its biggest customers, by far.
Amazon has also unveiled the Fire TV Stick, a media-streaming device meant to compete against Google’s successful Chromecast. The device streams Amazon content as well as content from Netflix, Hulu and Pandora.
Last week, Amazon posted its biggest quarterly loss since 2003, and reduced its forecast for the current quarter, including the all-important holiday season.