Google has offered a counterpunch against rival Amazon, by adding audiobooks to its App Store, Google Play – a move tipped to make its ecosystem of Google Assistant connected devices more competitive.
Recent reports reveal that 30% of audiobook listeners utilise their smart speakers, with the trend only growing, especially at night time.
Now, users can call upon their Google Assistant enabled device to play an audiobook, even with specific timers e.g. “Ok Google, stop playing in 20 minutes”.
Multiple device functionality will be offered, allowing users to start playing an audiobook via a Chromecast device, but pause it through their phone.
In light of Amazon Echo’s existing audiobook integration, Google’s recent announcement is set to increase its competitiveness against its rival’s ever-growing network of Alexa supported devices.
Owned by Amazon, Audible, is currently heralded a leading provider of audiobooks, and is not available on Google Assistant devices.
Google’s decision to launch an audiobook store has therefore increased its ability to compete.
The news comes as the battle between Amazon and Google continues to intensify, following reports that the later removed YouTube from Amazon products.
Individuals can peruse Google’s new audiobook store here.
Google states that “subscription-less buying” is a top selling point for its new audiobooks store:
“You can buy a single audiobook at an affordable price, with no commitments”, Greg Hartrell, Head of Product Management for Google Play Books wrote in a blog post.
Amazon’s Audible promotes a monthly US$14.95 fee, however, does offer one-off purchases.
Audio Publishers Association’s latest data states that audiobook sales have climbed nearly 20% yearly, in the past three consecutive years, notching US$2.1 billion in 2016.