Audible—the world’s leading source of audiobook and spoken audio entertainment—this week launched a beta version of a new Channels feature which provides members with free access to ad-free podcasts, news, comedy, and exclusive shows.
Note: I’m probably supposed to disclose that Audible is an occasional advertiser on Windows Weekly, but that’s not why I’m writing this up: As you may know, I’m a huge fan of Audible, and I listen to audiobooks almost every single day. I love Audible, use Audible, and recommend Audible to you regardless of any advertising.
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I found out about Channels when Audible was updated this week on Android and iOS. No, it’s not clear yet whether the Windows phone app will likewise be updated, but to be fair to Audible, they’ve done well by Windows phone fans so far. And a later email from Audible provided more information about the new feature.
“Today, many millions of people like you continue to redefine the concept of reading by listening to Audible’s audiobooks,” a message from Audible founder and CEO Don Katz reads. “Now I’d like to invite you to explore a beta version of a new benefit of Audible membership—an unlimited short-form listening service we believe will become as popular and addictive as Audible’s audiobook service—and I hope you’ll let us know what you think of this work in progress.”
Channels appears as a new destination in the Audible app, alongside Library, Discover and Now Playing. It provides over 70, um, “channels” of free, high quality curated content, ranging from news, educational topics, short fiction and more with topics such as self improvement, food, mystery, comedy, gaming, tech, health, and much more.
Audible Channels are to the spoken word what Internet radio stations or dynamic playlists are to music services: A way to discover new content. Or like a Pocket for audio content, where you can stash away something interesting for some later downtime. It is, in other words, a great idea. And a great expansion to a great service.
I think the word “member” indicates that you need to pay for Audible to access the Channels feature. I am of course an Audible member, in my case a Gold member, which costs $15 per month. There’s a Platinum membership, too, at $23 per month, and options to pay for either annually instead of monthly.