Audiobooks now available on Google Play without a monthly subscription

Doris Richards
January 23, 2018

Thad McIlroy, an online book industry consultant, said audiobooks represent the only publishing category with "strong growth" so it makes sense for Google to challenge Amazon despite having a weak ebooks business.

What Google will reveal at this point are that dozens of bestselling audiobooks will be made available at less than $10 each, across mystery & suspense, autobiographies, sci-fi and fantasy, politics, romance, and other genres, though the typical cost for a book, Google says, is more likely in the $15 to $20 range.

(Don't ask why it's that nonstandard price, or Neil deGrasse Tyson will probably Twittersplain it to you.) Google is also offering 50 percent off your first audiobook purchase.

GOOGLE plans to read Australians bedtime stories this week with the launch of audiobooks that can be played by smart speakers, in-car computers, televisions, and smartphones.

Finding an audiobook on Google Play is not a hard task as there is number of services that support Google for promoting their products.

Integration is now live for Android phones and smart speakers set to English, and is coming soon to Assistant on Android Auto in the U.S. Meanwhile, audiobooks in Play Books will be widely available in 45 countries and nine languages.

Other countries will get the access once Google makes an official announcement about the release. You can listen to books at up to 2x speed and set a sleep timer for falling asleep at night.

You can start listening to a new title for under $10. And share your favorite audiobook with everyone in the family through Family Library for no additional fee-even if they're using a different device. Right now, there's no integration between the Google Home and Amazon's Audible.

While it will take a deep-dive after the discounts expire to get a full pricing comparison, it seems that Google is trying to appeal to customers who don't read enough to want to buy into Audible's subscription model. You'll have to own both the Kindle and Audible versions of the book to have them speak to one another, resulting in an upgrade fee for the given title.

Google's push into audiobooks through Google Play given the void in that type of content. And people do love listening while in their cars our out commuting.

Audiobook sales surged almost 20 percent annually for three consecutive years, reaching $2.1 billion in 2016, according to the latest Audio Publishers Assn. data.

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