Amazon Launches Budget Tier for Its Audible Service

Devotees of Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) Audible service will soon have a nearly half-priced budget option for their listening pleasure. Amazon announced Monday that it is previewing a new tier of the service called Audible Plus, which for $7.95 per month provides access to more than 11,000 titles of audiobooks and podcasts.

These include a set of Audible Originals, i.e. exclusive content from what appears to be a diverse clutch of celebrities and other notables. Among that lineup are musician Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, pro basketball star Blake Griffin, and playwright Harvey Fierstein. 

Woman enjoying listening to content on wireless headphones.

Image source: Getty Images.

Amazon said in the press release trumpeting Audible Plus that, over the next few months, it will add to its current stockpile of content while providing technical enhancements.

Currently, Audible only has one membership option, which starts at $14.95 per month. This generates one credit every month that can be redeemed for the titles in the service's library. Amazon is rebranding this tier as Audible Premium Plus, with the cost and the credit system remaining the same. Credits can be redeemed to buy titles outside of the Audible Plus selection; meanwhile, at this tier, users will have full access to Plus content.

Amazon said that it will start to offer its Plus preview to existing Audible subscribers this week; they can sign up for it beginning on Thursday.

Amazon did not provide any estimates for how the new bifurcation of Audible membership might impact its business.

On Monday, the company's shares crept up 0.7%, lagging somewhat behind the gains of the broader stock market.

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