Google Debuts Audiobooks Store, Takes On Amazon's Audible

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Google on Tuesday announced the launch of audiobooks on the Google Play store in India.

If you don't necessarily need hands-free controls, Google Play audiobooks are also available on iOS and the web, with no subscription required regardless of your platform of choice. Users can just say, "Ok Google, read my book" and listen to an audiobook with the Google Assistant on their smartphone or on Google Home, Hartrell said. Not only that but if you're using more than one device to play an audiobook, you'll be told if the device you're now listening to is ahead of or behind another device and get the option to jump to the place where that device left off. With the help of these audiobooks, users can ask the Google Assistant to read out their books. The two companies already compete head-on with each other on several fronts most notably cloud computing and recently in the market for smart digital assistant technologies such as Google Home and Amazon Echo. Google has confirmed that it has started selling audiobooks on the Google Play Store. Audiobooks typically sell between $7 and $15, but Google is offering some pretty large discounts to pull new users in, plus 50 percent off your first purchase.

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Google Assistant is also able to play any audiobooks bought through the Play Store.

With Google's enormous opening discounts - you can get 50% off your first audiobook until 26 February - it is hard to know if it will make people switch from Audible to Google. Google really only has one killer feature that might entice Audible listeners away from its massive catalogue of audiobooks, and that's family sharing. It likely will be some time though, before we get the more advanced features of other similar sites like Audible. Free previews are also available, just like with normal books. The books will be available in nine languages and can listen on Android, iOS, Chromecast, Android Auto, Android wear and web platforms. The introduction of audiobooks at Google Play brings with it an easier way for those in the Google ecosystem to enjoy their favorite reads in a seamless way across devices.