Audible will launch a free android-based app named Audible Suno, offering more than 60 original and exclusive series in both Hindi and English as the Amazon-owned subscription-based audio service presses ahead with expansion in India a year after its entry.
The advertising-free offering will feature shows with the voices of celebrities such as Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif, Karan Johan and many more, said Shailesh Sawlani, VP, Country Manager India, Audible in an interview with CNBC-TV18.
The launch of Audible Suno comes on the back of audio streaming giant Spotify’s recent launch of its first set of original podcasts in India.
Sawlani said the company has readied programming on Audible Suno for the next few months and will have new episodes weekly. “We will be launching new series on a weekly and monthly basis. The plan is to launch audio content in regional languages down the line.”
Existing Audible service users will have access to the Audible Suno service as well. The company has no plans to integrate the two apps as of now.
To monetise the content, Audible plans to bring on board new talent and curate diverse content before thinking about revenues from the Audible Suno app.
The company said its subscription-based audiobook service, which it launched last year at Rs 199 a month, is generating good interest. “Audible growth has exceeded the expectations of the company. Audible has downloaded 3.5 billion hours of programming in the last twelve months for listeners around the world,” said Don Katz, founder and CEO, Audible.
He did not share the growth or membership numbers.
India is billed as the third-largest market in terms of podcast consumption after the US and China. About 150 million Indians are estimated to be using audio-streaming services and this number is expected to grow exponentially.