Audible, the company owned by Amazon and known for its audiobooks, in July announced the introduction of Audible Channels, a collection of short-form audio broadcasts including podcasts, lectures, original audio series and audio versions of various news articles and features. To subscribe to Audio Channels the cost is currently $4.95 per month (or $59.40 per year), or included if you're already a subscriber to the full Audible service at $14.95 per month. Now though, Amazon has also added Audible Channels as one of the included benefits for Amazon Prime members.
If you're already an Amazon Prime or Audible subscriber, you can access Audible Channels through the Audible app in the Google Play Store. The app includes the ability to create personal playlists, as well as providing a curated selection of recommended playlists to access. The library includes articles from popular names such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Foreign Affairs, Charlie Rose, McSweeney's and The Onion. Amazon has also stated its intention to add more new and original content on a regular basis. Included for Prime members is also access to a rotating selection of more than 50 audiobooks from the Audible library.
The app itself is nicely designed and easy to use, with just an Amazon account required to log in and start to access and download or stream the content. It includes the ability to change the speed of playback, add a sleep timer, change the duration for the jump-back and jump-forward buttons and whether to allow streaming over cellular data or only Wi-Fi.
Prime membership is an important program for Amazon, with research showing that Prime members tend to spend significantly more than non-members on average. Amazon don't publish the figures on Prime membership other than it being 'tens of millions' worldwide. It is though estimated to now include at least one members in nearly half of all U.S. households, and about one in five of all U.S. adults. Prime membership also includes same-day deliveries in some locations, free two-day shipping, video and music streaming services, unlimited photo storage and one pre-release book per month with Kindle First.