Google Audiobooks Launches in 45 Countries

Muriel Hammond
January 24, 2018

It may not be worthy of a page-turner.

To go along with the launch, Google is offering very deep discounts on lots of audiobook titles. It'll be an uphill battle for sure.

Google updated its Play Books service to bring audiobooks to it with Google Assistant integration and casting support. Google does claim to have all the bestselling authors and titles but it's safe to read into Google's response that the Google Play listening catalog will be smaller than Audible's. The 45 countries where the service will be available include most of Europe, as well as North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, India and a select number of Asian countries.

"You can buy a single audiobook at an affordable price, with no commitments", he said in a blog post yesterday.

Like Apple's iBooks and Amazon-owned Audible, there is no monthly subscription fee required to purchase audiobooks.

Audible lets you purchase spoken content without a subscription too, but pushes its membership plans. There are two tiers, which give the user one or two credits per month. As with most other Google services, audiobooks are available on pretty much any device you would want to use: Android, iOS, the web and Google Home speakers. All you need to do is simply say, "OK Google, read my book". You can also tell it to stop playing in 20 minutes if you're listening to it just before sleeping.

That's useful, of course, but it is just following Alexa's lead.

Recent reports reveal that 30% of audiobook listeners utilise their smart speakers, with the trend only growing, especially at night time. You can also share purchases with Family Library, read them on your phone, your tablet, your computer, and even on your Google Home device.

After a recent spat led Google to pull YouTube from Amazon's Fire TV and Echo Show, it seemed like things were finally cooling down when Amazon extended an olive branch to Google by selling Chromecast devices again for the first time in years.

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