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Ahead of Amazon Audible, Google launches subscription free Audiobooks in India


Google has introduced Audiobooks on Google Play Store in India and 44 other countries in nine languages. The Audiobooks are available on Android, iOS, the web and with Google Assistant-enabled devices like Google Home smart speakers.

Unlike Apple’s iBooks and Amazon-owned Audible, the Audiobooks will be free of subscription, reports CNN.

You can also access Google’s audiobooks across multiple devices from the company. For example, you could listen it on your Google Home smart speaker, and then pick up where you left off on your Pixel smartphone later.

Books can also be shared with family members for no extra fee via the Family Library feature.

Audiobooks are generally priced between $7 and $15 but Google is offering discounts, in addition to 50 per cent off on your first book.

Also Read: Apple’s HomePod speaker finally available for pre-order from Jan 26

If we compare Audiobooks pricing with Amazon’s Audible, then title such as “Why Not Me?” by Mindy Kaling and “Lincoln in the Bardo” by George Saunders are available at lower price on Google as compare to Amazon-owned Audible without a subscription.

Meanwhile, Audible is already a well-established player in the audiobooks space. Acquired by Amazon in 2008 for $300 million, Audible sells digital audio-books, radio and TV programmes as well as audio versions of magazines and newspapers including The New York Times.

In 2016, Audible members downloaded nearly 2 billion hours of content.

The world’s largest online retailer is set to bring its audiobooks streaming service – Audible -to India. It could be Amazon’s next big gambit in India after Prime Video and Alexa, where the audio-book and entertainment service has just started to gain traction.

In the past, the company has been talking to the biggest book publishers in the country, such as Penguin Random House and HarperCollins, as well as the Chiki Sarkar-led start-up, Juggernaut.

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