Apple may launch an audiobooks subscription service to rival Audible later this year

Apple may launch an audiobooks subscription service to rival Audible later this year

Apple Books on an iPad and iPhone

Image Credit: Apple

A report suggests Apple may soon offer an audiobooks service. With Audible’s ex-SVP working for Apple, here’s why it makes sense.

Since its inception, Apple has been a hardware and software company. In 2018, Apple started heavily focusing on services too, now with subscription services like Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud+, Apple News+ and Apple Fitness+ (plus a bundle for all of them).

Apple Books offers a Books Store and Audiobook Store. From here, users can browse and purchase e-books and audiobooks, however as iTunes introduced Apple Music to offer all music for a subscription, it’s not impossible to imaging Apple take a subscription approach to audiobooks too. While you can buy audiobooks outright with Audible too, they have various subscription models, offering a number of book credits per month to spend on audiobooks to own forever. Alternatively Audible Plus, with a smaller library, offers an unlimited number of audiobooks to listen to while your subscription is active.

The Audiobooks Store in Apple Books on macOS Monterey

A new report from The Economist about how Apple are competing with Netflix, Disney and Amazon on videos streaming, also mentions a possible audiobook service:

In the past couple of years Apple has made smaller media bets including Arcade, a subscription gaming package, News+, a publishing bundle, and Fitness+, which offers video aerobics classes. There is talk of an audiobooks service later this year.

The Economist

While there is only one mention of audiobooks in the article, this backs up Mark Gurman’s suggestion in a Bloomberg newsletter, saying “if Apple wants Apple One and its services business to grow even further, I think it needs to two things: expand the Apple One program and better integrate services.”

No other analysts or leakers have backed up these claims, however in 2020, Apple hired James DeLorenzo, the Head of Sports at Amazon Video and Senior Vice President at Audible (an Amazon subsidary). DeLorenzo now leads the sports division of Apple TV, however his background in Audible could be useful if The Economist’s report is true.

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