Amazon bolsters Prime memberships with access to Audible audiobooks and podcasts


Amazon Prime just became an even better value. Starting today, Prime members will have access to short-form audio content and more than 50 rotating audiobooks each month through Audible Channels.

Audible Channels is like a library of premium podcasts covering a broad range of formats including “original programs, distinctive comedy, lectures, and audio editions of standout articles and news.” Content is pulled from top publications like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Harvard Business Review and The Onion. There’s also a selection of “hand-selected” Audible Playlists spanning “essential stories of the day, meditation and commute-sized comedy to compilations on science, history, technology and more.” It’s a nice way to get into podcasts without having to do much legwork or discovery.

Prior to today’s announcement, Audible Channels was only available as part of Audible’s $15 per month membership or as a standalone service for $5 per month.

You’ll need to download the Audible app to tune into Audible Channels. It’s available for iOS, Android and Windows 10 devices. Not yet a Prime member? Start a free trial today to take advantage of Audible Channels in addition to free 2-day shipping on millions of products and a host of other benefits.

The lineup of ad-free programming includes:

  • Presidents are People Too!, a series that transforms U.S. Presidents into real-life people complete with quirks, flaws, triumphs, scandals and bodily ailments, hosted by former “The Daily Show” head writer Elliott Kalan and American historian Alexis Coe
  • Bedtime Stories for Cynics, inappropriate children’s stories for adults only, presented by Nick Offerman of “Parks and Recreation” fame
  • Hold On with Eugene Mirman, in which Mirman pauses funny live stories and gets his special comedian guests, including Jim Gaffigan and “Weird Al” Yankovic to divulge new details
  • Limelight, highlighting the best new standup performances from comedy clubs across the country, with rotating guest hosts such as T. J. Miller, Ron Funchesand the Sklar Brothers
  • Lectures from The Great Courses

Prime members will also discover the first episodes or previews of the following original programs, subsequent episodes of which they’ll be able to explore and enjoy for free in the coming months:

  • The Butterfly Effect, hosted by Jon Ronson, which explores the question, what happens when we expect things for free?
  • Ponzi Supernova, a fascinating look at Bernard Madoff, the man behind the largest Ponzi scheme in history, featuring exclusive jailhouse interviews with Madoff himself
  • Damned Spot, a series that examines the afterlife of places defined by tragic events
  • West Cork, a true crime series about an unsolved society murder, set on the south coast of Ireland
  • Extra Credit with Neal Pollack, in which the author, musician and comedian takes his 13-year-old son’s education into his own hands, and hilarity ensues

New original programs will be introduced regularly.

Audible Playlists include:

  • Get Smart, in which Audible editors scour the world to unearth uncommon knowledge that will make you the most interesting person you know
  • Punchlines, your front-row seat to comedy clubs across America (without the two-drink minimum)
  • Science This, in which Audible editors uncover the accessible and fascinating science that connects you to your universe
  • Impact, your source of insights, commentary and reporting to give perspective, meaning and context to the news

“The ultimate mission of Audible Channels is to invent new ways to unleash the power of well-composed and artfully spoken words,” said Don Katz, Audible founder and CEO. “As millions of people every year discover the joy and utility of quality listening, Audible Channels will be the place where superior short-form audio information and entertainment captures and conveys a compelling sense of the world for daily consumption in fast-twitch time. We’re thrilled to make this evolving listening innovation available to Prime members.”

Free Audiobook Selection for Prime Members

Prime members will also be able to stream a rotating selection of more than 50 premium audiobooks, across nine Prime-exclusive channels, including:

  • Top-rated audiobooks across a range of genres, such as Mary Kubica’s The Good Girl, Karl Marlantes’ What It Is Like to Go to War, Matthew Quick’s The Silver Linings Playbook, Anne Lamott’s Stitches and Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game Alive
  • Celebrity-narrated classics, such as Scarlett Johansson’s performance of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Rosamund Pike’s narration of Pride and Prejudice, and a full-cast recording of Dracula, starring Alan Cumming
  • Shared listening experiences for the family, including Clifford the Big Red Dog, Winnie-the-Pooh, and The Velveteen Rabbit

Source: Amazon Press Release

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