Info-tech

Amazon’s Audible debuts with 400 India-exclusive titles

Varun Aggarwal Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on November 14, 2018 Published on November 13, 2018

After entering into e-books and online music business in India, Amazon is finally bringing its audio content business, Audible, which will allow Indians to listen to local books narrated by popular Indian actors.

In an interview to BusinessLine, Audible founder and CEO Don Katz said, “I think India is ready to accept Audible, because it is much more than audio book. It's really the books that happened to be good scripts, because if they're not good scripts, then we make a better script. India has some of the best script writers, creative comedians, actors and performers, and we will get them together for best possible programming.”

Audible.in will offer a broad selection of over 2 lakh full-length audiobooks and original programmes, including a curated selection of 400 Audible-exclusive titles by Indian authors. On Tuesday, at the launch event, Audible released a new recording of S Hussain Zaidi and Jane Borges’s best-selling Mafia Queens of Mumbai, performed by Rajkummar Rao, Radhika Apte and Kalki Koechlin. Katz said that Audible will also look at original stories exclusively in audio format. “One of our launch titles is from Joy Dutta. He has recorded something specifically for Audible. That book does not exist in written format,” Katz said.

Local content

Initially audiobooks and original programmes will be available in English. Audible will work with Indian artists to offer local language content soon. “We have a multi year plan to go into local languages in India. It’s a big investment and we are willing to make it right now. We do have Indian customers who pay the US rates and so we were able to study their patterns, we have had a really sophisticated set of betas here, we are part of the Amazon family so we can have employee betas and the like.,” Katz said.

Audible employs about 20,000 actors in the US. The company, however, did not comment on its hiring plans in India. While the Indian edition of Audible offers the same library content available worldwide, it is priced lower. The service cost in the US is $14.95 per month and the Indian subscription starts at ₹199.

Published on November 13, 2018
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