SAG-AFTRA Reaches Deal With Audiobook Producer BeeAudio

The agreement brings the company up to industry-standard rates, according to the union.

SAG-AFTRA has reached an agreement with audiobook producer BeeAudio, the union announced Friday. The deal is the latest in a series of efforts by SAG-AFTRA to enhance its organizing reach in the segment and marks the 27th audiobook producer organized by SAG-AFTRA since 2008. Among the signatory companies is Audible, the largest producer in the market.

In November, SAG-AFTRA issued a “Do Not Work Notice” against BeeAudio, which the union says was producing books for various major publishers and paying half or less than half the industry standard rate to narrators.

“We are thrilled to have an agreement with BeeAudio,” said Jane Love, SAG-AFTRA's audiobook negotiator. “It makes sense for the company, the narrators and the industry, and we look forward to working with everyone at BeeAudio.”

“The relationship between BeeAudio and SAG-AFTRA began with a series of misunderstandings that have been amicably resolved,” said James Adams, founder and CEO of BeeAudio. “We are in the middle of a publishing revolution, and that clearly involves audiobooks. It’s vital that innovative entrepreneurial companies like BeeAudio and unions like SAG-AFTRA work together to steer a steady course for the benefit of the consumer, business and union members.”

Under the new contract, audiobook narrators will be paid industry-standard rates ranging from $150 to $240 per completed hour of work. The deal affects the more than 200 audiobook professionals now on the Ashland, Ore.-based company’s roster.

Bookmark The Hollywood Reporter’s Labor Page for the most in-depth coverage of entertainment unions and guilds.

Email: jhandel99 at gmail dot com

Twitter: @jhandel