Audible's new Channels service pits Amazon against Apple in podcasts

in General Discussion edited July 2016
Amazon's Audible division on Thursday launched Channels, a service with exclusive short-form audio content that looks to challenge Apple's current dominance of the podcasting space.

While Channels includes material from the likes of Scientific American, The Onion, and the The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is also producing a variety of originals, with titles like Mortal City, Presidents Are People Too, and Breasts Unbound. About 40 other shows are in production, Bloomberg noted.

On its own Channels costs $4.95 per month, but the service free for people who subscribe to Audible, which is $14.95 per month.

To date Audible has been focused on audiobooks, a more niche audience than podcasts. Apple however is tough competition, being the leading distributor of podcasts via iTunes, where downloading them is free and ad-supported -- if they generate money at all.

Amazon has been working to lure more customers into its subscription services, for instance by making Video available separately from a Prime account. Recent rumors suggest the company is planning to do the same with music, entering competition with Spotify and Apple Music.


  • Reply 1 of 3
    adrayvenadrayven Posts: 460member
    Podcasts are free .. why would I pay to get this?
  • Reply 2 of 3
    leavingthebiggleavingthebigg Posts: 1,076member
    I wonder if Spotify will whine to any government agency and or government official about Amazon's entry into the streaming music arena. 
  • Reply 3 of 3
    anomeanome Posts: 1,030member

    Not sure how this counts as competition with Apple. For a start, Apple aren't selling podcasts, the app is free, and you can use it to subscribe to any podcast by pasting in the RSS feed. (The app itself is problematic, it constantly crashes on my phone, and I can't work out why when it works fine for other people.)

    As far as I can tell, although I looked at it a while back when they released the beta to Audible subscribers, Channels is only offering Audible sourced content. So really, the two companies are in different markets, selling different things. If there is any overlap, it's not going to be enough for most people to jump from one to the other, most people will probably want both. Or, most commonly, just a decent podcast app (there are several in the app store, and the Apple one that comes as part of iOS - although see my earlier caveat).

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