A banner spotted on the Google Play Store teased that an audiobooks section is coming soon, a move that will challenge Amazon's domination of the market through its Audible business.
The demand for audiobooks has steadily increased in an age where podcasts and other streaming media have surged in popularity. With audiobooks coming soon, the Google Play Store will expand its media offerings, which currently include apps, TV show, movies, music, and digital books.
Google Play Store Audiobooks Section Coming Soon
According to a report by 9to5Google, a banner has appeared on the Google Play Store, for both desktop and mobile users, that says audiobooks are now available on the online store. The banner also says that users will be able to enjoy a 50 percent discount for the first audiobook that they purchase.
However, at the time of writing, clicking on the link returns a missing webpage error. There is also no information on when the Google Play Store audiobooks section goes live.
Currently, there is a collection of audiobooks that can be downloaded through the music library of the Google Play Store. However, creating a specific section for audiobooks will make it easier to search and purchase them from the online store.
Previous teardowns of the Google Play Store app's APK hinted at the pending arrival of audiobooks, which would provide users the option to navigate chapters and track the progress of their reading. It is also expected that audiobooks purchased through the Google Play Store will be available on all of the user's linked Android devices.
Google Play Store Audiobooks Vs Amazon Audible
Amazon currently dominates the audiobook market with its ownership of Audible, the leading retailer of audiobooks. There are other sellers such as Audiobooks.com and Libro.fm, but the inclusion of Audible in some of Amazon's Kindle devices have helped improve the format's popularity.
Amazon has been working on improving the audiobook capabilities of its Kindle e-readers. For example, the Audible Clips feature allows users to record their favorite lines from audiobooks that they can share with their friends and family.
Audible support, originally only found on the $250 Kindle Oases, was also recently added to the 8th-generation Kindle, which is the entry-level model that costs only $80. However, because the basic Kindle does not have speakers, users will need to connect Bluetooth headphones or speakers to the e-reader to listen to their audiobooks.
The Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Voyage models, meanwhile, currently do not support Audible, as confirmed by Audible's help center.