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Google Play Store to Sell Audiobooks?

Google doesn’t sell a lot of ebooks, and pretty soon they will also not be selling a lot of audiobooks.

Android Police pulled part the latest version of the Play Store app and found references to audiobooks in the code.

Back in 2012, the Android Market was rebranded to the Google Play Store, and in the process it brought the stores for books, music, and movies under one roof – TV shows and magazines (later renamed Newsstand) were added later. Now a new product category is about to go up for sale: Audiobooks.

Actually, audiobooks probably won’t be treated as a different category, rather another buying option to exist side-by-side with e-books. If you’re looking at an ebook that has an audiobook counterpart, a label will point out that the other format is available with a button to switch to that option, and vice versa. Most audiobooks will obviously have a price tag on them, but there will be some freebies, as well.

There aren’t very many strings here, nor are there any dedicated layouts related to audiobooks, which suggests they’re probably not going to launch with this version of the Play Store. Even if you could begin buying audiobooks tomorrow, there’s not really a good app for playing them. Play Music supports podcasts, which are at least similar, but that experience is still missing quite a bit and it’s nowhere close to suitable for audiobooks. Perhaps we’ll see this responsibility go to Play Books, or maybe a new app is on the horizon.

The closest that Play Books comes to audiobooks is a rather mechanical-sounding TTS feature where the text is automatically read aloud.

Audiobook support is very different, but it remains to be seen when or how Google will implement this feature.

image by ActuaLitté

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