has inked a deal with Ricky Gervais, the brains behind the BBC series
, to bring his latest podcast program,
The Ricky Gervais Show
, to the audio entertainment company.
Audible's stock took a little bounce on the news on Tuesday; it was recently up 22 cents, or 2.4%, to $9.45 in recent trading.
The exclusive deal will bring seasons two and three to Audible. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Until now, the first 12 shows were available as a free download through the
Web site or
Season two of the show will be available through Audible.com, Audible.co.uk and Apple's iTunes Music Store starting Feb. 28. Individual episodes are priced at $1.95 each or $6.95 for the whole season. Customers who join one of Audible's AudibleListener plans will get the episodes for free. The shows can also be downloaded wirelessly to smart mobile devices using AudibleAir.
Gervais is best known for creating
, which has since spawned an American version on NBC starring Steve Carell. According to Audible, Gervais' new show has been downloaded more than 2.9 million times since its launch in December. The show focuses on the comic dialogue of Gervais, Stephen Merchant and their dimwitted producer, Karl Pilkington.
"The Ricky Gervais Show is a perfect example of how podcasting and emerging digital audio technology is creating a new and global channel, business and audience for talent such as Ricky and his team," Brian Fielding, Audible's executive vice president of content acquisition said in a press release. "Entertainment is clearly reaching beyond the television and movie screens into people's iPods, blogs, PDA's, smartphones and RSS feeds."
Last week, Audible released its fourth-quarter earnings and
posted a loss after struggling with a new Web site that failed to bring in new subscribers. Company officials expect to post a narrower loss for the current quarter, and improvement over the full year, though they didn't offer any specific guidance.