The Hörverlag

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the Hörverlag
founding   1993
Seat   Munich
management   Thomas Rathnow
Robert Wildgruber
(Publishing Director)
Publishing group   Random House
genus   Audio books , radio plays

The Hörverlag (spelling: der Hörverlag, formerly: Hör Verlag) is a German audio book and radio play publisher based in Munich . It was founded in 1993 and became part of the Random House publishing group in 2010 . The Hörverlag has been one of the top-selling representatives in the industry since it was founded. He was also instrumental in upgrading the audio book to an independent medium. One of the first productions of the Hörverlag was “ Sofies Welt ”. The most successful titles include " The Lord of the Rings ", " The Hobbit " and " Harry Potter " as well as works by Eckart von Hirschhausen , Frank Schätzing , Henning Mankell and Jonas Jonasson . The Hörverlag was managed by Claudia Baumhöver until 2015 . Her successor is Robert Wildgruber.


Publishing director Claudia Baumhöver at the presentation of the German Audio Book Prize (2009)

The initiator of the Hörverlag was the publishing house of the authors , which founded it together with Stefanie Hunzinger, Klett-Cotta and the Carl Hanser Verlag in autumn 1993. The Deutsche Taschenbuch Verlag served as a model for the merger . In the Anglo-Saxon world, the so-called word cassettes were already very successful, which was to be repeated in Germany. The Hörverlag was entered in the commercial register on September 14, 1993 ; its headquarters were initially at Klett-Cotta in Stuttgart . Claudia Baumhöver, who was named “Publisher of the Year” in 2007 by the specialist magazine Buchmarkt , became the director of the Hörverlag . Until 1994, other publishers took part in the Hörverlag, including the Österreichische Bundesverlag , Piper , Schott Music and Suhrkamp . The involvement of Piper Verlag only lasted for a short time and was later replaced by Kiepenheuer & Witsch .

In 1994, Ariola , Goldmann , Langenscheidt and others founded the “Initiative Wort Cassette” (IWC), which was supposed to promote the distribution of audio books. At this point in time, the Hörverlag was already based in Munich . In 2004 the collaboration with BBC Audio began , through which the range of English-language audio books should be expanded. A year later, Hörverlag founded “Claudio Medien GmbH” with Focus Magazin Verlag and Tomorrow Focus . The company developed a download portal for the legal retrieval of audio books in MP3 format, which was launched on the occasion of the Frankfurt Book Fair. In 2008 it became known that the Hörverlag was campaigning for a stronger regulation of the market, including price control for audio books. In addition, one campaigned for the protection of intellectual property and against the piracy of audio books.

In October 2010, the Random House publishing group announced that it would take over the Hörverlag, subject to the approval of the competition authorities . At that time the program comprised around 600 to 800 titles. In the course of the takeover, observers spoke of a “displacement battle on a dwindling market”. With the acquisition of Hörverlag, the Random House publishing group was able to significantly expand its position in the audio book market, after having previously been active in this segment with Random House Audio . The main reasons for the merger were better access to licenses and the challenges of digital markets. After the takeover, the Hörverlag was deleted from the commercial register, but it also remained an independent organization with its own program under the umbrella of the publishing group.


Rufus Beck in the recording studio for the "Harry Potter" recordings (2005)

At the beginning, about half of the offer of the Hörverlag consisted of fiction and a quarter each of children's and non-fiction. His first program comprised around 50 titles. The fifteen-part production of “ Sofie's World ” by Südwestfunk and Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk , which became a bestseller and sold over 100,000 times in the following years , received greater attention . In the mid-1990s, the Hörverlag with Cotta's Hörbühne took over a program of around 80 tracks from Klett-Cotta . The first works that Hörverlag published on compact discs instead of cassettes in 1996 included Rainer Werner Fassbinder's “Ganz in white” and “Nobody is bad and nobody is good”.

In 1998 the Hörverlag started the LiteraMedia series with Suhrkamp and Terzio : At the same time as Suhrkamp's book, a suitable audio book and a multimedia version were published on CD. In 2000, Hörverlag published an important collection of American poetry in original sound with “The Spoken Arts Treasury” . " Harry Potter " developed into one of the most commercially successful fabrics, with over 3.2 million copies sold by 2008. The work's spokesman was Rufus Beck , while Felix von Manteuffel was employed for the second version of the audio books . After JRR Tolkien was already one of the most successful authors in the program, the Hörverlag released the “ Hobbit ” on record in 2013 . The radio play cinema under the starry sky , a cooperation between Hörverlag and radio eins , also experienced a broad media reception .

Every year Hörverlag publishes around 150 new works on compact discs and around 100 in total in parallel or exclusively as downloads . The program currently comprises around 1,000 titles available for delivery. These include, for example, various works by Frank Schätzing , with “ The Swarm ” also the radio play of his most famous book. Eckart von Hirschhausen , Florian Schroeder and Vince Ebert are also represented in the Hörverlag. While the German-language book version of the novel trilogy " Fifty Shades of Gray " is being published by Goldmann Verlag , the Hörverlag is delivering the audio book for it. In addition to current titles, the Hörverlag's program also includes classics, for example by Dylan Thomas , Hermann Hesse or Thomas Mann, as well as cult radio plays by Francis Durbridge and others. Original recordings also play a significant role in the Hörverlag's program. One-third of the entire program was with awards such as the hr2 - hörbuchbestenliste , the German Audio Book Prize , Prize of the German Record Critics or HörKules appreciated.


2003, who found jingle of Hörverlages in the song No return of the German synth pop - duo Wolfsheim again. It was sold 150,000 times in Germany and achieved gold status.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Konstanze Crüwell: Whoever doesn't want to read has to hear . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung , October 15, 1995, p. 26.
  2. Thomas Rathnow restructures the Penguin division. Wolfgang Ferchl in future "Publisher at large". In: Book Market. March 9, 2017. Retrieved June 18, 2018 .
  3. a b Wildgruber follows Baumhöver . In: Börsenblatt , April 13, 2015, accessed on December 15, 2015.
  4. ^ Christian Gehl: Random House buys Hörverlag . In: Advertise & Sell , October 14, 2010, accessed November 14, 2014.
  5. ^ Gerlinde Freis: The audio book market in German-speaking countries . Structure and economy of a promising branch. Diplomica, Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-8366-6584-1 , p. 95.
  6. "We believe in the future of the audio book market" . In: Buchreport , October 13, 2010, accessed on November 14, 2014.
  7. Claudia Baumhöver . Publisher of the year 2007. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , December 4, 2007, p. 16.
  8. Joint campaign for the book trade by WDR 5, Klett-Cotta and Hörverlag . In: Buchmarkt , November 8, 2001, accessed on November 14, 2014.
  9. Claudia Baumhöver (50) . In: Buchmarkt , February 27, 2009, accessed December 28, 2014.
  10. a b Arnd Rühle: A publishing house for listeners . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , January 21, 1994, p. 64.
  11. Michael Esser: Cinema for the ears . In: Die Zeit , March 22, 1996.
  12. Business register . Bundesanzeiger Verlag, accessed on November 14, 2014 (Stuttgart District Court, HRB 16066).
  13. Bettina Weiguny: A publisher without a book . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung , December 9, 2007, p. 38.
  14. a b c business register . Bundesanzeiger Verlag, accessed on November 14, 2014 (Munich District Court, HRB 115577).
  15. In portrait: the Hörverlag . In: Musikwoche , accessed on December 28, 2014.
  16. a b Not yet a good market for word cartridges . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , October 8, 1994, p. 17.
  17. The Hörverlag cooperates with BBC Audio . In: Börsenblatt , October 6, 2004, accessed on November 14, 2014.
  18. New audio book portal from Focus and Hörverlag . In: Rheinische Post , July 20, 2005.
  19. Katrin Hildebrand: As with grandmother . In: Frankfurter Rundschau , October 29, 2005, p. 20.
  20. Jennifer Lachman: Hörverlag calls for more regulation . In: Financial Times Deutschland , October 14, 2008.
  21. The magic of numbers - table talk with Claudia Baumhöver . In: Wirtschaft - Das Magazin , IHK Munich and Upper Bavaria, September 2007, accessed on December 28, 2014.
  22. Literature for the ears . In: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger , March 12, 2009, accessed on December 28, 2014.
  23. Random House swallows Hörverlag . In: Nürnberger Nachrichten , October 15, 2010, p. 17.
  24. Random House wants to buy Hörverlag . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , October 12, 2010, p. 23.
  25. ^ J. Güntner: Displacement battle on a dwindling market . Random House takes over the audio publishing house. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung , November 3, 2010, p. 54.
  26. Random House plans to take over from Hörverlag . In: Buchmarkt , October 12, 2010, accessed December 28, 2014.
  27. "We are currently experiencing a media revolution". In: Book Report Special 2013 , pp. 11–15.
  28. Audiobooks make it possible: with Goethe in a traffic jam . In: Saarbrücker Zeitung , October 12, 1995.
  29. Sybille Neth: Sophie's world in the Walkman . The newly founded Münchner Hörverlag wants to market radio art as audiobooks in the future. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , May 29, 1995, p. 12.
  30. The radio play "Sofies Welt" has meanwhile sold 100,000 copies and is number 1 in the BuchMarkt bestseller charts . In: Buchmarkt , November 30, 1999, accessed on November 14, 2014.
  31. Miriam Freudig: Books especially for traffic jams and long car journeys . In: Stuttgarter Zeitung , November 22, 1995.
  32. Eva-Maria Lenz: Nobody bad and nobody good . Radio plays by Rainer Werner Fassbinder on CD. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , June 4, 1996, p. 40.
  33. Dirk Fuhrig: Reading, hearing, seeing . Suhrkamp, ​​HörVerlag and Terzio start "LiteraMedia" series. In: Frankfurter Rundschau , October 10, 1998, p. 99.
  34. Tilman Spreckselsen: The voices of poets . The Münchner Hörverlag has unearthed the most important treasure of American poetry. In: Die Welt , December 9, 2000, p. 8.
  35. a b Alexandra Kournioti: Hörverlag on trophy hunt . In: Bayerische Staatszeitung , October 31, 2008, p. 6.
  36. Wieland Freund: Harry speaks with a double tongue . The Münchner Hörverlag has recorded a second version of the entire "Harry Potter" in a top-secret manner. In: Berliner Morgenpost , November 1, 2008, p. 22.
  37. Anne-Marie Maaß: A real collector's item: The Hobbit comes on the record . In: Nordkurier , September 20, 2013, p. 25.
  38. Kerstin Konrad: Cinema in the ear . In: Leipziger Volkszeitung , December 10, 1999, p. 6.
  39. ^ Official website of the Hörverlag . Random House Publishing Group, accessed December 28, 2014.
  40. Frank Schätzing and Heikko Deutschmann celebrate "Limit" in Hörverlag . In: Buchmarkt , November 24, 2009, accessed on November 14, 2014.
  41. Eckart von Hirschhausen changes from Eichborn to Hörverlag . In: Börsenblatt , September 28, 2011, accessed on December 28, 2014.
  42. The porn for the senses . In: Welt Kompakt , August 1, 2012, p. 24.
  43. Kai Luehrs-Kaiser: I have a dream in my ear . In: Die Welt , July 19, 2014, p. 6.
  44. Goodbye Hoeren . "Audio books" are selling better and better - whether fairy tales, crime novels, world literature or poems. In: Der Tagesspiegel , January 3, 1996.
  45. ^ Johannes Breckner: Two voices for men . In: Darmstädter Echo , February 10, 2014.
  46. ↑ A wonderfully antiquated crime thriller . In: Kölnische Rundschau , July 3, 2002.

Coordinates: 48 ° 7 ′ 55 ″  N , 11 ° 37 ′ 18 ″  E