Audible launches free podcast app Suno just for India

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on December 12, 2019

Weeks after Spotify, world’s largest music streaming company, launched its first podcast original shows in India, Amazon has gone all out with a brand new podcast app, Suno, just for the Indian market.

The new Suno app is a distinct offering from Amazon’s Audible platform and comes as a completely free one with Indian content for the Indian market, all for free. It doesn’t even require registration to access.

“Suno is our latest experiment and we see India as a first market to offer such services globally. We want to build a habit for audio entertainment in India and we want to create a new demographic appeal with this new experiment,” Audible founder and CEO Don Katz told BusinessLine.

Launched in November last year, Audible is a paid service that costs ₹199 a month and gives you access to thousands of audio books from around the world including 750 Indian titles. Of this, about 250 new titles were added this year to cater to Hindi and Urdu markets and to expand the app’s reach in India.

What’s new

But Suno changes everything for Audible. It‘s free, requires no registration and offers immersive audio shows that use 3D spatial sound to offer a visual-less movie experience.

“We are not focussed on monetisation for now. We are currently focussed on capturing the market, creating a habit for audio entertainment. Advertising is intrusive in podcasts and so we don’t want to spoil the experience with advertising in Suno,” Katz said.

Audible Suno showcases the voices and talents of Amitabh Bachchan (Kaali Awaazein), Katrina Kaif, Karan Johar (Picture Ke Peechhe), Anil Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar, Mouni Roy, Anurag Kashyap, Tabu, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Diljit Dosanjh, Vir Das and Vicky Kaushal.

At launch, Audible Suno is offering more than 60 original and exclusive series in both Hindi and English.

The range of fiction series includes horror (Kaali Awaazein), romance/relationships (Matrimonial Anonymous and Piya Milan Chowk), and suspense (Thriller Factory), while the comedy series on Audible Suno feature India’s funniest comedian (The Unexperts by Abish Mathew).

The non-fiction series available on Audible Suno include interviews with some of the country’s biggest stars (Kissa Khwabon Ka, Picture Ke Peechhe), and socially relevant series that explore topics like mental health, sex education and the rights of the LGBTQI+ community (Azaad Awaaz, SentiMental). Dale Carnegie (translated in Hindi), Om Swami, Radhakrishnan Pillai and Divya Prakash Dubey are among the top authors featured on Audible Suno.

Love of storytelling

“In India, our love of storytelling is ingrained in our culture, as we share stories generation after generation, and as we create and pass on new stories with family and friends today. Since its founding, Audible has worked in service of a singular purpose: to ignite the power of sound to entertain, inspire and move listeners, which we will now further with the launch of an India-first offering – Audible Suno,” said Shailesh Sawlani, V-P, Country Manager India, Audible.

‘Underutilised medium’

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan said: “I have always believed that audio is an incredibly powerful, yet thus far underutilised entertainment medium in India, and it is exciting that Audible is poised to change that. The series featuring my voice, Kaali Awaazein, is a fictional psychological thriller inspired by ghost stories and supernatural sightings, designed with immersive 3D sound to make these stories come alive on Audible Suno in a way I hope my fans would enjoy.”

Published on December 12, 2019

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