Audible Makes Some Noise

Andrew AlbaneseSometimes, all it takes to get everyone’s attention is to raise your voice. When it comes to audiobooks, Amazon has announced it’s taking just that approach, and pumping the volume on Audible, which it owns.

On Wednesday, the Amazon subsidiary unveiled Channels, an on-demand and unlimited listening service. The ad-free programming, which is free to Audible subscribers, features curated short-form audio.

“Channels listeners will find a consistently updated roster of original programming and exclusive content that includes comedy, lectures, and narrated selections from newspapers like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post – all selected by a staff of editors, and read by celebrities, authors, professional actors, and others, including original content,” reports Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer.

“We talk a lot about Amazon’s heft and its market tactics, and they get a lot of criticism. But I think we also have to say that Amazon is often just smart. For example, they saw the issues with the e-book market—and they solved it with the Kindle. Which was smart,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “I think their announcement this week in the audio realm is just another case where Amazon is being smart.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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