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Audible Sound Bites with Nick D'Angelo

Nick D'Angelo Sound Bites Graphic

Audible Sound Bites with Nick D'Angelo

Nick D’Angelo is Audible’s Senior Director, Creative Development on our Content team, and he’s responsible for creating our original scripted-fiction content. Coming from a career in TV and film, Nick is based in our Culver City, CA hub, where he guides a slate of audio productions across genres like mystery, thriller, fantasy, science fiction and more, while always looking for brilliant creators and stories to work with Audible.

What hub are you aligned to?

Our Los Angeles area hub. We are located in the heart of downtown Culver City, which has great restaurants, bars, ice cream and coffee shops, the iconic Culver Hotel, the Culver Theater and more, all within walking distance. The Content team can typically be found eating our lunch orders in the office, but occasionally we venture out to grab an after-work drink at a local spot, and we’ve had many a work meal and holiday party in this neighborhood, too.

How does your job contribute to Audible’s mission to surprise and delight listeners around the world?

As a creative executive, it is my job to pursue, develop and create the original scripted content that makes its way onto Audible’s service, so I am literally hoping to surprise and delight listeners with every title that my team releases into the world. Most recently, my biggest source of inspiration has been Audible’s own subscriber base, as my team and I have been diving into data about listening trends. By understanding what our listeners consume, we can ideate on the types of scripted originals that are cut from the same cloth as titles from their favorite authors, or deliver new twists on their favorite classics.

What was your first Audible listen? What inspired you to check it out?  

I became an Audible member in 2016, and the first title I ever listened to was the Audible Original Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory, by Peter Hessler, because I had just started working for a Chinese production company in Los Angeles and the CEO recommended it.

That same year I stumbled upon the Audible Original, The Dispatcher, by John Scalzi. I was blown away because, one, I had no idea Audible was producing original content, and two, it was so incredibly good! I had read several of Scalzi’s novels, so I was definitely the target audience, and Zachary Quinto was an excellent narrator/performer. It’s very exciting to be at Audible eight years later with so much more Scalzi content on the horizon!  

Can you share a bit about your career journey at Audible?

Coming from many years as a film executive and producer, I came to Audible with the expectation of focusing solely on scripted audio content, but very quickly I realized that I was going to work on genres and formats I had never worked on before. I created original pro-football content to align with Amazon’s launch of Thursday Night Football, then was the creative point of contact with Higher Ground Audio, working on projects like Michelle Obama’s The Light Podcast and always-on shows like Your Mama’s Kitchen.

I had never worked on any of those types of projects before, but I was confident in my ability to work with great teams to tell entertaining stories, and while they all had their challenges, the experiences made me a better, more versatile creative executive. I took over the scripted team in the middle of 2022 and then became one of four leads within the Content team in February 2023. 

Can you describe any community impact activities you’ve participated in, and what those experiences bring to you, personally?

In July of 2022, I was asked to lead a team to develop and create an audio original, Monumental, Harriet Tubman and Newark’s Liberation Movement, for the Harriet Tubman monument, Shadow of a Face, which Audible had collaborated on with the city of Newark. The importance of this project was not lost on me, as we were tasked with crafting stories from the perspective of the legendary Harriet Tubman, as well as stories of Newark’s own fight for racial equality, which would play from speakers hidden within the monument.

The way I see it, that monument and those stories will still be around after I’m gone, educating all who visit, as well as the kids in the Newark public school system, so to have contributed to this incredible endeavor and made a lasting impact in the community was truly an honor. I still hold this as the project I am most proud of during my time at Audible. 

Other than the people, what do you love most about the culture here?

I loved and was immediately drawn in by Audible’s People Principles when I first began reading about them, and I was even more impressed when I started working here and witnessed firsthand that they’re not just words in a frame, but are a core set of values that this company and its employees put into action and take seriously.

The dedication to the principle “Activate Caring” was something I saw on day one, at orientation, as I learned about Audible’s investment in the people and the city of Newark. I love knowing that I work for a company that holds those values in such high regard.

What are the benefits you find invaluable for your personal well-being, or that help make both your work life and personal life more fulfilling?

I had never worked for a company that offered wellness days before, and I am so grateful that Audible is the type of place that cares enough about its employees to give one day off every few months for decompression. It shows that this company really does have the best interest of its workers in mind. I also love that Audible offers up healthy meals for employees in Newark, and a Grubhub account in L.A., while also having a dietitian on staff that you can schedule one-on-one time with in order to tackle diet and fitness goals.  

What’s one quality people interested in working for the Content team need to be successful here?

More than anything, in order to be successful in any form of original content creation, a person must have a true love of storytelling. If you truly love telling stories, then that passion will fuel your pursuit of excellent content, and it will inspire you to find and create incredible stories. It will drive you to better yourself every day, to approach bigger talent, to pursue bigger projects, to take risks, to try new things, to think outside the box. It will never feel like a job if you truly love it, and if you truly love it, you will strive to be excellent at it.

What made you choose to work at Audible, what makes you want to stay?

Other than my time working as a jazz DJ on public radio while at the University of Florida, I had only worked in an audiovisual medium in my professional career, so the opportunity to create content in the audio-only medium was really intriguing. Admittedly, I was nervous that I’d be leaving a world I’d known for 20 years, but I made the decision to take everything I’d learned in film and TV, all the contacts I’d made and the creators I’d worked with, and bring all of that with me into the world of audio. 

Once at Audible, I realized that my role as a film studio executive was very similar to my new role here—just without the sets, locations, cameras, hair and makeup, etc. The sole focus is on the audio, and in many ways, that sets the bar even higher to tell the types of quality stories that will grab the listener and not let them go. Also, compared to the film world, I am able to work on so much more content here, and I still find myself and this company working with elite-level talent that rivals any major film or TV studio. 

Lightning Round!

Favorite genre? “Science plausible”—a close cousin to science fiction, but more grounded and realistic.

Listening from a speaker or headphones? Airpods.

Favorite activity while listening? Running or biking.

Morning person or night owl? Morning person.

Favorite snack? Charcuterie.

What is your current listen?

Jennette McCurdy’s I’m Glad My Mom Died. I’m listening to it every free moment I have and am blown away by how raw, real, emotional, vulnerable, heartbreaking and hilarious it is.   

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