Amazon adds Audible Channels to Prime subscription, greatly expanding reach of original audio programs

audible logoAmazon has added Audible Channels to its Prime subscription service. This is important podcast news — the reason “podcast” doesn’t appear in the title is because Audible does not use that term for its original on-demand programming. Audible Channels features short- and long-form programming, both originally produced and syndicated from outside publishers (e.g. New York Times, Wall Street Journal).

Audible, well known for its audiobook online service, launched Audible Channels in July, led by Senior Vice President Eric Nuzum. (Don’t miss Eric Nuzum’s appearance as a featured speaker at RAIN Summit Nashville.) Sever new shows were revealed at that time, including Pons Supernova (about Bernie Madoff) Damned Spot (about the aftermath of tragic events in affected localities), and others.

The Prime bundling will also include a short rotating list of traditional audiobooks that subscribers can hear at no additional charge. Prime membership costs $99 a year, and includes a streaming music service, Prime videos, and free shipping of Amazon merchandise.

Outside of Prime, Audible Channels is priced at $4.95 per month in an unusual subscription-only strategy.

Amazon acquired Audible in 2008. Today’s announcement represents the first tie-up with Amazon Prime. Prime membership is estimated at 63-million subscribers.

Brad Hill