Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Google Play Audiobooks

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Book cover of Crash Override by Zoe QuinnGoogle is now selling audiobooks on its Play store. It’s been selling ebooks for some time, but audiobooks were only added last week.

I’m an avid listener to audiobooks, and have a monthly Audible subscription that gives me one book a month. It’s cheaper than buying the audiobooks at full price, as they typically cost £15-20 each, versus a £8 per month subscription. I do, however, occasionally pick up some of Audible’s Daily Deals, and their freebies for members.

So, why would someone like me, with an Audible subscription, bother with Google Play? Here’s three reasons:

1. There’s an introductory offer, giving 50% off

For the first month, you can get a voucher code giving you 50% off your first audiobook purchase from Google Play. That takes the price of a typical £15 audiobook below Audible’s monthly subscription cost.

2. There are some books for sale that aren’t on Audible

I wanted to buy Zoe Quinn’s book Crash Override, about her experiences of being on the receiving end of harassment by Gamergaters. It looks like it should be available from Audible but I couldn’t seem to find it. But it is available on Google Play, so that’s what I’ve spent my 50% off voucher on.

3. You can play back your audiobooks on Google Home devices

If you’re in the Amazon ecosystem and have an Alexa device like the Echo, then you can play your Audible audiobooks through your Echo speaker just by talking to it. Google Home owners, however, need to jump through a couple of hoops, involving Bluetooth pairing, to use their speakers with Audible. However, you can use the ‘OK Google’ voice commands with audiobooks from Google Play on Google Home devices, as you’d expect.

I’ll be sticking with my Audible subscription for now, as it works out cheaper for someone like me who listens to at least one audiobook each month. But it’s useful to have an alternative – and, remember, Apple sells audiobooks as well, for playback on its devices and in iTunes. And the 50% offer is worth taking advantage of.

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