Seattle, Washington-based online retail giant Amazon may be planning to bring its popular ‘Audible’ audio book service to India if reports in the country’s national media is anything to go by. The company has reportedly already started beta-testing the service in the country, and is likely to launch it officially early next year. While Audible is available as a standalone service for $14.95 (Rs. 970) per month in the U.S., a limited collection from its vast library is also offered as a bundle subscription package with Kindle Unlimited that comes with a price-tag of $9.99 per month. There’s no indication about how Amazon will price Audible in India, but going by prior examples (Prime and Kindle), expect the service to be drastically cheaper than it is in America.
While the internet is abuzz with stories about the impending Audible launch in the country, Amazon itself has been playing its cards to close to its chest. In a generic sounding e-mail response to queries from the media, an official spokesperson of the company refused to either confirm or deny the reports, but said that, “We are always looking to continue to develop our offerings on behalf of our global membership base”.
Amazon has been betting big in India over the past few years with a reported $5 billion already invested in the country thus far. While the company’s CEO and co-founder Jeff Bezos has already visited India and met the country’s political and business leaders in an effort to strengthen relations, Amit Agarwal, the head of Amazon’s India operations, has also made it clear that the company is in it for the long haul in the country, saying that the massive investments planned for the future are still on track despite the $1 billion Q3 loss that was mostly on account of international expansions “primarily in India”, if a statement from the company’s CFO, Brian T Olsavsky, is anything to go by.