S&P Equity Research Rates Audible 'Sell,' Cites Podcasting Threat

According to a news brief publishing on the Forbes magazine Web site, Standard & Pooris Equity Research has reiterated its "Sell" rating on Audible and commented that "podcasting constitutes a growing threat" to its business. While the podcasting ranks consist mostly of amateurs who create and distribute their own audio shows, larger companies and media outlets have joined the trend, which S&P thinks will "detract from interest in similar content from Audible that generally costs US$6.95 to $12.95 a month per download."

Audible emphasizes compatibility with Appleis iPod on its Web site, and Apple has supported Audible by selling its content on the iTunes Music Store, but Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently announced that iTunes 4.9 will offer features for finding, downloading and managing podcasts. Apple will also freely distribute what it deems are the best podcasts available; Mr. Jobs noted that advertising may pay for the endeavor in the future.

As The Mac Observer posted this article, Audibleis stock was down over 3% to $17.05.