Amazon is having another go at expanding its reach to listeners in India. The company, which launched pay-to-use Audible in the country last year, introduced a new service called Audible Suno that offers free access to “hundreds of hours of audio entertainment, enlightenment, and learning.”
And it’s banking on major Indian celebrities to draw the listeners.
Audible Suno, which is exclusively available to users in India, features more than 60 original and exclusive episodes (of 20 to 60 minutes in length) in both Hindi and English languages. Audible, the world’s largest seller and producer of audio content, said Suno is aimed at filling the “idle time” listeners have each day during their commutes and performing other daily chores.
The launch of Audible Suno in India illustrates the commitment the company has in the country, said Audible founder and chief executive Don Katz. Amazon has invested more than $5.5 billion in its business in India to date. The company’s tentacles today reach a number of categories in the country, including e-commerce, payments, online ticketing business, video and audio streaming and VC deals.
“I’ve always been passionate about the transformative power of the spoken word, and I’m delighted to be able to offer this breadth of famous voices and culturally resonant genres with unlimited access, ad-free and free of charge,” said Katz.
Who are these famous voices you ask? Here’s the list: Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif, Karan Johar, Anil Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar, Mouni Roy, Anurag Kashyap, Neelesh Misra, Tabu, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Diljit Dosanjh, Vir Das and Vicky Kaushal.
Audible Suno currently offers shows in a range of genres, including horror (Kaali Awaazein), romance and relationships (Matrimonial Anonymous and Piya Milan Chowk), suspense (Thriller Factory) and comedy series (The Unexperts by Abish Mathew). Non-fiction series include interviews with some of the country’s biggest stars, and socially relevant subjects such as mental health, sex education and the rights of the LGBTQI+ community.
Manish Singh covers India for TechCrunch. Prior to this, he wrote for VentureBeat, CNBC, The Outline, CNET, and Mashable. You can reach out to him at email@example.com