Audible launched its second unlimited listening service today. The first one was in Japan, but this time the service is in the US and focused on the romance market.
Audible Romance costs $15 a month ($7 a month for KU or existing Audible subscribers) and offers access to 10,000 titles.
According to Cynthia Chu, Audible CFO, “Audible Romance makes binging on romance content possible at an affordable price-point," while also making it easier to find the material they want. Listeners can explore 41 micro-categories and roughly 130 story and character tropes to seek out a broad variety of themes like romantic thrillers or small town romance. And each micro-category has its own browse page that contains audio samples. “Customers can head straight towards exactly what they’re looking for, and then discover new stories within those categories that they never would have otherwise found,” says Chu.
Audible Romance features two new technological innovations to enhance the browsing experience. Take Me to the Good Part allows customers to go directly to the ‘good part’ of an audio program. Chu explains that Audible editors designed this feature by identifying 10 portions of books that “romance fans find most memorable—first encounter, flirty banter—and then machine learning technology actually finds those parts of the books and allows listeners to go straight to them.”
Listeners can also search for an audio program based on its Steaminess Score, represented by an illustrated meter that ranks titles on a one-to-five scale labeled Sweet, Simmering, Sizzling, Hot Damn, and O-O-OMG. The company’s data science team powers this feature with an algorithm developed by Audible that scans for keywords that are “steamy” markers drives this feature