Amazon Rolls Out Audible Plus

Posted on August 24, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Amazon, Music + Videos with 12 Comments

Amazon today announced the preview availability of Audible Plus, a lower-cost tier of the firm’s audiobook subscription service.

“Audible Plus offers members greater selection through unlimited access to a robust catalog that includes over 68,000 hours of content and 11,000+ titles from across the content spectrum, including documentaries, comedy, journalism, kids, wellness, self-development, selections from Audible Theater and more,” the firm announced. “New Audible Originals come from a wide range of talent including Common, St. Vincent, Blake Griffin, Jesse Eisenberg, Tom Morello, Kevin Bacon, David Koepp, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kate Mara, Tayari Jones and Harvey Fierstein, among many other celebrated creators and performers. The content slate will continue to grow alongside various technical enhancements over the coming months.”

Audible Plus costs $7.95 per month, or about half the price of the existing Audible subscription, which has been renamed to Audible Premium Plus. Members who opt to stick with the more expensive premium option will still get one credit each month for use towards any audiobook

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Comments (12)

12 responses to “Amazon Rolls Out Audible Plus”

  1. BrianEricFord

    I think people largely overlook the extent to which Amazon has essentially bought out and monopolized the entire ecosystem surrounding books, especially in the US.

    Want to buy a book? Amazon is your best bet because they will almost always offer the steepest discounts. Want to buy an ebook? Amazon prompted litigation that handed them (back) an incredibly destructive monopoly. Want to buy or listen to an audio book? Amazon bought the largest purveyor and now practically (and sometimes literally) gives them away as a subscription offering. Want to buy an old/used book? Amazon bought perhaps the most respected purveyor. Want to talk about books in a popular online forum, Amazon bought those up, too! Want to buy a book locally? Amazon somehow destroyed one entire mega-chain and crippled the other into irrelevance via its predatory pricing strategies. Want an ebook that is something more than a dumb OCR? Too bad. Amazon has stripped any incentive publishers may have ever had to innovate in that market by setting expectations for pricing below cost.

    But you might say, “Amazon lets all these companies operate independently!” Of course. If people don’t realize that almost any interaction they have with books sees their data (and dollars) flow to Amazon, it’s that much easier to keep collecting it without scrutiny.

    • redstar92

      In reply to BrianEricFord:

      This may be the best comment on Thurrott I have ever read. Just excellent!

      That this has not been brought up before in courts/government/etc... is completely outlandish.

    • ejuly

      In reply to BrianEricFord:

      85% of physical books I read I get from my library of the other 15%, half are purchased from Amazon the others are going from a local book store. I read about 40 books a year. While I have gotten some e-books (almost all from Amazon) I have not found a good reader better that a book.
      I have 500 audible books and other items. Been a member of Audible since 2002 (before Amazon purchased them) I like the ability to download and own my audio files so will stay with the premium plus.

    • Rainer Fuchs

      In reply to BrianEricFord:

      All good points but I'm not sure I would ever use the words "publisher" and "innovate" in the same sentence...

      • BrianEricFord

        In reply to [email protected]:

        Oh, for sure. They’ll need to be led there kicking and screaming, but Amazon has zero interest in ever being the best in almost anything. They want to sell as cheap as possible and amass customers and marketshare. Alexa is maybe one example but even there their hardware strategy is largely junk sold at cost. This strategy will almost never lead to innovation and when they own an industry that means no one is going to hold that carrot out for publishers.

        • Paul Thurrott

          This is sadly fair. I think Amazon's position is that "best" = "most," but they're failing at that too.
  2. Username

    > Amazon has stripped any incentive publishers may have ever had to innovate in that market by setting expectations for pricing below cost.

    Books in Australia were so expensive before Amazon appeared. I, for one, am very grateful.

  3. Daekar

    So much of what is on Audible is utter trash, especially most of the Originals, but there are enough diamonds in the rough that I seriously enjoy my subscription. I can honestly say that it's some of the best money I spend every month.

  4. crunchyfrog

    With COVID, I rarely travel anymore so I don't even listen to audio books anymore. If I cancel or move to this lower tier, can I still keep the books I paid for?

  5. brettscoast

    Audible Plus seems reasonable value. Just wondering do you still use the Kindle for your reading needs, listening to audio books.

  6. ebraiter

    Could of just kept the original Audible name for the main subscription and called this Audible Basic or something like that and then "reserve" the Plus [and Plus premium] for future overpriced subscription rates.