About a year after bringing its audiobook service to India, Amazon has rolled out a new audio entertainment app - Audible Suno - in the country.
It is an India-first app, and free (and ad-free) for users, marking Amazon's rare departure from paid streaming services.
On Audible Suno, Indian listeners can get unlimited access to hundreds of hours of original audio content in Hindi and English, including more than 60 exclusive audio series and dramas, with new episodes added regularly.
Amazon has tied up with leading homegrown digital content studios, including TVF, OML, Culture Machine, Film Companion, Arre, Terribly Tiny Tales, and others for original shows and audio series on the Audible Suno platform.
India's most famous voices from Bollywood stars and TV celebrities to comedians and famous authors can be heard on the app.
"Audible Suno will enable listeners to turn their idle time into 'found time' and unlock more hours every day to fill with entertainment and learning," Amazon announced.
Audible Suno climbed to the No. 1 spot in Google Play Store's 'entertainment' category within a week. The app has recorded more than 50,000 installs, and is rated 4.2 out of 5.
While Audible Suno is an Android-only app, iOS users in India can access the content via the native Audible app. Amazon shared that the core Audible app has a large library of over 200,000 audiobooks, including 250 recently added titles in Hindi and Urdu.
Audible Founder and CEO Don Katz described Audible Suno as "a world-first for Audible" and found it culturally relevant for India.
He said in a statement,
“I’ve always been passionate about the transformative power of the spoken word, and I’m delighted to be able to offer this breadth of famous voices and culturally resonant genres with unlimited access, ad-free and free of charge."
Amazon's decision to launch Audible Suno comes at a time when India's audio-streaming industry is witnessing an unprecedented surge. There are an estimated 150 million listeners who tune into audio-streaming or podcast apps every month.
Last month, global audio-streaming giant Spotify too announced original, India-specific shows to tap into this burgeoning demand.
Interesting times ahead, surely!
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)