Skip to main content
Placeholder Alt Tag

Audible Sound Bites with Sean Jackson

Sean Seabright Jackson is Audible’s Head of Retail, working as part of our product team to build new ways for Audible customers to experience our incredible catalog, whether they’re a member or purchasing titles “a la carte." A lifelong fan of listening, he was excited to bring his talents to work on a product he loves—and as a new parent of twins, he truly values having the support of his team as he ramps back up from parental leave.

Can you describe what your team does at Audible?

The retail team is working to make it easy for customers to purchase a single audio title through a seamless and flexible purchasing experience. While Audible has an amazing membership offering for customers who want a deeper listening experience, we help bring Audible to those newer to listening, or those whose listening appetites may not be as voracious.

We’re also helping build better ways for all customers to be able to transact more easily and more rapidly so they can get to the fun part of Audible: listening!

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

We know that many people around the world have heard of audiobooks, but have not yet listened to an audiobook. We are working to make it easier, faster and more affordable to listen, while also allowing customers to listen without the long-term commitment of membership. While it is somewhat tautological, to become a listener you have to listen. We’re working to make starting your first title easier.

What hub are you aligned to? Have you participated in any of Audible’s impact activities in the community?

While I am remote and based out of Detroit, I go to our headquarters in Newark about once a month. I recently worked with the Audible Newark Artist Collaboration to help build a digital companion experience for the large-scale murals placed around downtown Newark. We created a website so that the public can hear from the artist of each piece by scanning a QR code near the base of the mural. I love public art and was happy to be able to help the artist share the story of their work directly with viewers.

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

I’ve been a life-long listener to various forms of spoken-word content, starting with NPR classics like Car Talk, This American Life and Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me when I was younger and my family took road-trips across the US. So the opportunity to work on the product that I spend so much of my life using was a strong attraction.

What makes me want to stay is the culture. Internally, we have strong people who care deeply about our listeners and fellow employees. I greatly appreciate the Originals we produce, as well as the artists and creators we help amplify. As someone living in Detroit, another post-industrial city going through revitalization, I also admire the investments being made in downtown Newark.

Which Audible employee benefits do you find invaluable?

My partner and I recently had twins, and the parental leave Audible offered was amazing. I had previously worked in early-stage startups, so parental leave was not common, especially for the non-birthing partner. Not only was I able to take the full parental leave, my manager and team were accommodating as I ramped back up. They also organized a virtual baby shower for us!

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

A Song of Fire and Ice (the first novel in the Game of Thrones series). After leaving college, I was packing up my Subaru and preparing to drive across the country from Santa Barbara to Detroit for my first job. I wanted something long enough to last the entire trip. I remember that even though the days in the car were long, I could not wait to get back into the driver’s seat to find out what was going to happen next!

How do you draw inspiration from culture and technology?

As a human living in 2024, I am constantly exposed to great digital experiences. It’s fun to think about how others working at the intersection of entertainment and ecommerce solve customer problems and how their solutions can be studied to make Audible’s digital experiences even better.

It’s also fun looking at experiences totally unrelated to media—for example, in the language-learning and physical-training space—that are solving similar challenges, to see if there are inspirations we can draw.

What’s one quality people interested in working on Audible’s Product team need in order to be successful?

Empathy is the most important quality at Audible. We need to not only be able to understand the customer challenges we are looking to solve, but also understand the perspectives of our marketing, tech, design and creative partners so that we can help align our internal colleagues on well-defined customer needs and challenges. 

Lightning Round!

Favorite genre? Sci-fi.

Listening from a speaker or headphones? Headphones for sure!

Favorite activity while listening? I don’t know if it’s my “favorite,” but doing chores.

Morning person or night owl? Night owl. (I have the Audible Badge!)

Favorite snack? Peanut butter and jelly sandwich (with strawberry jam).

What are you currently listening to?

Right now I am listening to The Witcher series. I typically bounce back and forth between fiction (most recently Poor Things), fantasy (the Licanius Trilogy) and sci-fi (A Desolation Called Peace). As our family has toddler twins, I spend a lot of time cleaning up cereal debris and doing dishes, laundry and other forms of household labor, and listening means I’m sometimes even excited to do these chores!

Play Video: Be Customer Obsessed

Be Customer Obsessed

Play Video: Imagine & Invent Before They Ask

Imagine & Invent Before They Ask

Play Video: Articulate The Possible & Move Fast To Make It Real

Articulate The Possible & Move Fast To Make It Real

Play Video: Study & Draw Inspiration From Culture & Technology

Study & Draw Inspiration From Culture & Technology

Play Video: Activate Caring

Activate Caring

Audible's People Principles celebrate who we are and where we've been, and guide the way we work shoulder to shoulder to enhance the lives of our millions of customers around the world. They reflect and apply to everyone who works at Audible—the entrepreneurs and operators, the dreamers and the doers, those who have worked here for 25 years and those who have arrived in the past few weeks and months.

View all Our People Principles