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Amazon Opens UK Doors on eBook and Audiobook Lending Library

The service, which is available now, costs £7.99 a month. The first month is free, and the service lets users gorge themselves on Kindle content and audiobooks. Kindle Unlimited is available in the US already, and comes to UK shores for the first time today.

“With Kindle Unlimited, you never have to think twice about what book you want to read or listen to,” said Amazon Kindle EU VP Jorrit Van der Meulen.

“With unlimited access to hundreds of thousands of titles, Kindle Unlimited offers by far the simplest and most cost-effective way to explore and discover eBooks and audiobooks together, and you can even switch from reading to listening without losing your place. Our US customers have shown us how much they love the opportunity to discover new authors and genres, and now we’re delighted to offer the same freedom to our customers in the UK.”

Amazon said that there are some 650,000 Kindle books available, and that many of these are supported by the recently seen readalong feature.

Whispersync, which offers the narrated option, is the result of a deal with Audible that the firms announced in mid-August. This gives subscribers an unlimited listening option, but it is rather lacking when compared against the ebook version.

Amazon said that there are thousands of titles available now, and mentioned the number 2,000. Titles like The Hunger Games and The Life of Pi are available.

Only recently, Amazon announced it was testing an ebook-audiobook subscription service that will grant readers unlimited access to the Kindle ebook library for a monthly fee, a model that described as Spotify for books.

Dubbed as Kindle Unlimited, the subscription service allows subscribers to “enjoy unlimited access to over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks for just $ 9.99 month,” according to a page that was briefly posted on Amazon’s US site.

The page has since been taken down, but users were quick to take and share screen shots of the page.

A leaked promotional video said subscribers can enjoy “unlimited reading and listening on any device” with a free 30-day trial.

The upcoming launch of Kindle Unlimited is seen as Amazon’s move against competitors in the ebook industry, but some believe that the new service is not as huge as expected.

Audiobook sales have improved drastically since 2008, from just 80.85 million to 272.82 million in 2013. Access to audiobook has been made easier through various applications available for smartphones and tablets such as cross-platform spoken word service Audioboo.

Audioboo, which is owned by the London-based Audioboom Group PLC (BOOM.L), offers audiobooks from some of the big audiobook publishers that include BBC AudioGO (formerly BBC Audiobooks) and HarperAudio of HarperCollins.

New York Times best-selling author Scott Sigler, who is also an avid podcaster, also has his own Audiboo channel where he shares his stories on a per-episode basis.

Audioboo aspires to be the Youtube of audio as it now has 2,000 content channels ranging from audiobooks to sports commentaries and weekly home podcasts.

Unlike other one-way audiobook providers, the service allows users to record or upload audio content directly to their customized channels. In a way, Audioboo presents an emerging alternative to the subscription model as it creates space for users to be publishers as well.

Audioboom is a SaaS based digital social media audio platform enabling the creation, broadcast and consumption of audio across multiple global media outlets. Audioboom works with some of the biggest names in broadcasting across sport, entertainment and current affairs to bring their content to millions of listeners worldwide via Facebook, Twitter and other media platforms.

The technology allows partners to embed playlists onto their sites and apps, use our mobile apps and functionality as listen again players and re- syndicate their content around the web.
Audioboom also allows the monetisation of audio via the dynamic insertion of pre and post roll advertising into content as a user is listening, allowing contemporary advertising selection, depending on content genre and geographic location of the user.

Audioboom has over 1,700 content partners, including the BBC, Telegraph, Guardian, CBS, Sky Sports, Premier League, Southern Cross Austereo, Reuters, CNBC, Universal and Fox.

Audioboom has over 1,700 content partners, including the BBC, Telegraph, Guardian, CBS, Sky Sports, Premier League, Southern Cross Austereo, Reuters, CNBC, Universal and Fox.

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