Greg Hartrell, head of product management for Google Play Books, listed subscription-less buying as the top selling point for the new audiobooks store. Google Play users can buy a single audiobook without binding themselves into a subscription, contract or commitment of any sort.
The data will be synced together across all the platforms, which will allow users to start their book on one device and finish it on another. Now, we have the books that we can enjoy inside of Google Play, and you also can enjoy these audiobooks using your Google Assistant.
This doesn't come as a surprise as recent reports had suggested that Google might soon launch an audiobook section in a bid to compete with services like Audible. The feature will work on web, app on Android and iOS devices, which include the Google Assistant. Google is also offering a variety of audiobooks on sale for a limited time as part of the new audiobooks promotion.
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Google has finally made audiobooks available on its Play Store, and it can even be played on its smart speaker. You can purchase them individually at what they say are affordable prices.
To start listening to audiobooks on Google's smart speaker, purchase a title first, of course. Try "Ok Google, who is the author?" if you need a refresher, or "Ok Google, stop playing in 20 minutes" to set a timer for bedtime reading. If you're one to leave your phone at home, using Bluetooth headphones with your smartwatch, you'll now be able to do that with audiobooks instead of just music.
Meanwhile, Audible is already a well-established player in the audiobooks space, with over 400,000 audio titles.
Thad McIlroy, an online book industry consultant, said audiobooks represent the only publishing category with "strong growth" so it makes sense for Google to challenge Amazon despite having a weak e-books business.