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Apple in 2022 could expand its services portfolio to add an audiobooks service, according to a report from The Economist (via 9to5Mac) that outlines Apple's efforts to break into media and compete with Netflix, Amazon, and other companies.

General-Books-Feature.jpg

The Economist goes over all of Apple's existing services like Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple News+, Apple Arcade and Apple Fitness before throwing in a one line mention of a possible audiobooks offering.
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.
There are no details beyond the quick mention of an audiobooks option, so it's not clear where The Economist's information is coming from nor what an audiobooks product from Apple might look like, but with Apple already competing in podcasts and books, audiobooks could be the next logical step.

Apple already sells audiobooks through its Apple Books app, but books are only sold on a one-off basis with no option for unlimited listening. Apple could perhaps develop a service similar to Amazon's Audible, which offers credits for audiobooks for a monthly fee along with a selection of "Audible Plus" titles that do not require credits.

Pricing on Audible Plus starts at $7.95 for a limited selection of audiobooks that does not include new releases, while Audible Premium Plus is priced at $14.95 for Plus access and a credit for a new book each month. Offering an audiobooks service that includes unlimited access to new audiobooks is probably unlikely given the cost and royalties involved with audiobooks, so Apple would likely need to use Amazon's format or something close to it.

Article Link: Apple Might Be Developing an Audiobooks Service
 

Zwhaler

macrumors 604
Jun 10, 2006
7,026
1,485
Little late? I hope they do it to encourage competition. But books, audiobooks, podcasts, and voice assistants were all missed opportunities for the 2010's. Apple could have been a dominant player in each of these. Instead we have Amazon, Amazon, Google/Spotify and Google/Amazon/ sort of Apple, respectively.
 

w5jck

macrumors 65816
Nov 9, 2013
1,206
1,580
Way too late Apple! Besides, they screwed the pooch on eBooks with a crap store. I suspect they will do the same with an audio book store. As far as that goes, the Apple TV+ content is pretty lackluster too. They need to stick with selling us overpriced, under updated devices with screwed up OSes.
 

Akrapovic

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2018
891
1,834
Scotland
If this goes into Apple One and doesn't cost any more, I'd consider it.

I find Audible a bit much to swallow. I have to pay monthly...and pay for the books...to an Amazon service...that isn't included in my already expensive Prime membership?

Put it in Apple One. Don't make me pay again after subscribing, and I'll use it. Same for Audible.
 

Celf

macrumors member
Aug 4, 2008
84
22
Doesn't surprise me...Spotify is also offering audiobooks ;-)
 

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors demi-god
Mar 17, 2005
5,163
1,334
London, UK
Interesting. I do the vast majority of my reading via audiobooks now and I buy them exclusively through the Apple store, buying probably about 2-3 books a month on average. I'm a bit wary about book subscription services though because of how much it can affect what the authors actually get.
 

foobarbaz

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2007
696
1,141
Apple Music already contains a bunch of audiobooks. But it's a pain to listen to them, because it doesn't keep good track of your progress. (There's an app called Eary that helps …)

It would make a lot of sense for them to just split audiobooks (and classical music) into a separate app even if they keep it part of the same service.
 

DanTheMan827

macrumors regular
May 9, 2012
179
171
They should really be careful, they don't want another anti-trust lawsuit like they had with the iBooks store
 

metapunk2077fail

macrumors 6502a
Oct 31, 2021
636
838
Ebooks are a still growing business and the pandemic obviously grew sales but paperbacks still outsold ebooks by 3 to 1 in 2020 and have actually increased in popularity again with book shops popping up everywhere. People just prefer turning a physical page and not being distracted by their device or having to adjust screen brightness and all that.

I was on a developer forum where they had a poll asking if developers preferred learning code from paper books, ebooks or websites. Paper books had 90% of the vote. They said they like to scribble in margins, fold page corners, own nice book shelves.

Why can't Siri read books yet?
 
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