tech2 News Staff Nov 14, 2018 11:10 AM IST
Audible, the world’s top audiobooks platform owned by Amazon, has made its debut in India on 13 November with a catalogue of 200,000 global titles and 400 Indian classic and contemporary titles. At launch, Audible will only have English language content for the Indian audience and is soon expected to release regional titles.
Audible will be offering Indian listeners a ‘welcome pack’ of premium listening content. This pack will contain long-form as well as short-form audio content with chapters from Business Sutra by Devdutt Patnaik, An Era of Darkness by Shashi Tharoor, A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle and much more.
In terms of pricing, Indian customers who sign up for Audible for the first time will get a 30-day free trial which will allow them to access one free Audible book of their choice. If you are an Amazon Prime member, then you are eligible for a 90-day free trial which will give you access to three free Audible audiobooks.
The payment options start from Rs 199 per month, following the free trial, which would be a recurring cost. Else, you can opt for any of the three prepaid plans: 1 month at Rs 299, 6 months at Rs 1,345 (25 percent discount) and 12 months at Rs 2,332 (35 percent discount).
Unlike Prime Video or Netflix or Kindle Unlimited, Audible is not a read/listen-all-you-can membership. Every month, you will only get one credit which you can exchange to buy any one book from the Audible store for free. The audiobook that you download will be yours to own for life and you can continue listening to it, even after you have stopped the Audible membership, of course using the Audible app. As an Audible member, you will get a 30 percent discount for any audiobook you purchase as compared to a non-member, in addition to access to exclusive content.
According to Donald Katz, CEO and founder of Audible, the Audible experience relies a lot on the dramatic way in which stories are told by some of the top talents from the US and UK. For instance, British comedian Stephen Fry has narrated the entire collection of Sherlock Holmes in a dramatic manner, which makes for a 70 hour plus audiobook. There’s a dramatised version of Alice in Wonderland, narrated Hollywood actress Scarlett Johannson. And so on.
“Honouring India’s distinctive literary and storytelling tradition and supporting the creation of vibrant local content, Audible.in is a dedicated, authentic and dynamic destination for Indian consumers that puts Indian talent and spoken-word content front and centre,” said Katz.
As part of its launch, Audible featured a spoken word performance, of an excerpt from the Hussain Zaidi book Mafia Queens of Mumbai, by Bollywood actors Kalki Koechlin, Radhika Apte and Rajkumar Rao.
Among the titles and programs available at launch are:
- The Last Boy to Fall in Love, an original audio-first title by Durjoy Datta
- Exclusive audio performances of some of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s greatest works, including Gitanjali and Kabuliwala
- A multi-cast performance of the best-selling Mafia Queens of Mumbai by S Hussain Zaidi and Jane Borges brought to life by Bollywood stars Rajkummar Rao, Radhika Apte and Kalki Koechlin
- Contemporary non-fiction by Rashmi Bansal and Shashi Tharoor
- Self-development titles by Radhakrishnan Pillai, Guru Om Swami and Ashwin Sanghi
- Nutrition and wellness titles by Rujuta Diwekar and Pooja Makhija
- Ruskin Bond’s autobiography, as well as a variety of his mountain tales and tales for young people and many others.
At launch, Audible is expected to be present on the web, iOS and Android platform. There is no word out if the Audible support on supported Kindle readers will be available at launch.