Unconfirmed rumours in the Indian press suggest Amazon is readying its in-beta Audible India launch for November, to mark the India celebration of Diwali.
If true the timeline will catch many by surprise. Amazon is believed to have started progressing Audible India in early 2017 and The Times of India reported Audible IN was widely expected to launch in early 2018.
The revised November launch date will give Sweden’s Storytel a full year’s head-start in India –
but it may be that Amazon has an ace up its sleeve to hit the ground running when it finally does go head to head with Storytel.
In April Amazon announced a six-book deal with one of India’s biggest selling authors, Chetan Bhagat, asserting the first book would be released in October in print, ebook and audio.
My guess is Amazon plans to try pull the rug from under Storytel’s feet as it marks its first anniversary in India, with an Audible India launch offering the new Bhagat audiobooks among a raft of enticements to lure Storytel’s subscribers into the Amazon garden.
No word yet as to what price and model the Audible subscription service will take, and the timing may again be designed to coincide with planned changes at the Storytel end.
Currently Storytel offers unlimited listening for a fixed monthly payment, while the Audible model offers monthly credits for limited consumption.
As reported here at TNPS last month, Jonas Tellander is looking at changes to the royalty-structure for the subscription model for 2019, but no word yet as to whether the unlimited consumption model will continue in its current form.
As yet Storytel and Amazon’s Audible have not gone head to head, and with the expected spring launch of Audible India now possibly postponed until November the first clash of titans will be Italy this summer when Storytel IT goes live, followed by Mexico which could be as soon as late 2018.
Perhaps more interesting still is where Storytel will go with ebooks now it has its own ereader. Again, with the exception of Mexico, India, Netherlands and Italy, Storytel’s footprint has been careful so far not to overlap with the Kindle stores.