Amazon Throws In Free Access To Audible Channels, Free Audio Books As Prime Perks

In an attempt to encourage more folks to sign up for its Prime program, Amazon is throwing a few new perks on the table for members, complimentary access to the company’s new short-form digital audio service called Audible Channels, and free audio books.

Starting today, Prime members will have unlimited access to Audible Channels, which was launched in July as an effort to get a piece of that podcasting pie (though Amazon never uses that word to describe it). The service offers bits of ad-free content like audio editions of pieces from publishers like The Wall Street Journal, The Onion, The New York Times, and Charlie Rose, while other selections are from original content producers.

To that end, Amazon announced a few original shows slated to debut “in the coming months” on Channels, including “Ponz Supernova,” which is about Bernie Madoff that includes jailhouse interviews from the man himself.

It’s worth noting that if you don’t want to pay $99 a year for Prime — a price that also includes free two-day shipping and access to streaming Prime video, among other things — you can still get access to Audible Channels for $4.95 a month.

Members will also now have complimentary access to a rotating selection of more than 50 audio books, similar to how the Kindle Lending Library works. Whatever those 50 titles are, Amazon promises they will include “top-rated” audiobooks across a range of genres; celebrity-narrated classics, and a full-cast recording of Dracula, starring Alan Cumming. There are also “shared listening experiences” for the family, which translates to audio versions of titles like Clifford the Big Red Dog, Winnie-the-Pooh, and The Velveteen Rabbit.

[via TechCrunch]