Amazon launches audiobook service Audible in India. Here's how it worksSohini Mitter
Audible comes with a free 30-day trial. Amazon Prime members can enjoy a 90-day free trial, after which they would be charged Rs 199 per month.
Amazon has rolled out its subscription-driven audiobook service in India. Audible has launched on Android, iOS and Amazon Cloud Player (on desktop) with a selection of over 200,000 audiobooks across genres and languages.
Amazon is offering a 30-day free trial for all users extending to 90 days for Prime members, after which they have to pay Rs 199 per month. There are also half-yearly and yearly subscription plans to choose from. However, payment options are limited for now, with Amazon accepting only credit cards and ICICI Bank debit cards in India. No wallet payment options are available currently.
This could be because the service is still in beta mode and a full rollout will happen shortly. “Audible is currently in beta. We are adding more and new exciting Indian and international audiobooks every day,” Amazon stated on the Audible homepage.
Amazon is also offering Indian users one free credit per month which they can avail to purchase any audiobook irrespective of its price. There is a 30-percent discount on additional purchases too. Audible even allows users to swap audiobooks they don’t like for free. And audiobooks once purchased would remain in the users’ Audible library even if they go on to cancel subscription.
Audible comes at a time when India’s audiobooks market is witnessing a shake-up with international services like Storytel and Google Play Books rolling out their catalogues in the country. There are multiple podcast apps too that give users access to a wide selection of books and stories on the go. Audiobooks are a $3.5-billion market globally, and Audible counts over half a million subscribers on its platform.
Interestingly, Audible comes with Amazon Echo integration, which means users can now ask Alexa to read out a book to them.
How Audible works
The Audible app can be downloaded from Google Play Store or Apple App Store. The service is also accessible on the Audible website. You log in with your Amazon id.
To start the Audible membership, you have to choose a plan. Amazon saves your card details and charges a token amount of Rs 2. Membership fee gets auto-deducted once the trial period ends (you can cancel your subscription anytime).
The Audible catalogue is spread across 25 categories including Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Money, Classics, Children’s Audiobooks, Literature & Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers, Parenting & Relationships, and more.
Amazon makes discovery simpler with themed segregations such as Bestsellers, New Releases, Great First Listens (an Amazon curation to warm users up to the concept of audiobooks and quickens discovery), Star-Powered Listens (with narrations by celebrities like Kate Winslet, Stephen Fry, Benedict Cumberbatch, and so on), Books to Screen (literature that has been adapted into movies), Indian Love Stories (popular fiction and young adult reads), etc. Plus, there are titles produced by Amazon itself through Audible Studios.
All downloads are stored in the Amazon Cloud library. Purchases are synced across devices (phone, tablet, computer).
Audible also comes with a Car Mode feature and a big-button display that “makes it super-simple to drive and listen”.