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Audible is starting to bring ads to its audiobooks

Published Mar 30th, 2023 8:15PM EDT
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What does everyone want to see when they’re in the middle of a good book? An ad for Pepsi, of course.

Well, Audible has the same idea for audiobooks. In the middle of your next audiobook, you could be interrupted from the book you were enjoying, and suddenly, the sweet sounds of Matthew McConaughey talking to you about the new Lincoln will start playing. Is he driving the car? Or is the car driving him? Better listen to the whole ad to find out.

Some users have started to report ads showing up in the middle of some titles on the service, and Audible has confirmed it is now testing an ad-supported version of the platform for non-members. On a support page, the company says that “we are currently conducting limited testing for non-members only that provides ad-supported access to a limited set of Audible titles.”

So, why are you only hearing ads on some titles? Audible says that the ads are currently only being played on “beloved audiobooks, well-known podcasts and Audible Originals” and that the creators of those titles have opted in for ads to play, so don’t go getting angry at Amazon about this — well, at least not just Amazon.

Does that mean the company will actually be releasing an ad-supported tier? That’s still unclear. While the company is testing the concept, it did not confirm if it will actually roll out as a full service. It said that the test is another to understand the “evolving needs of our customers and partners.”

If Audible does actually roll out an ad-supported tier, we do have an idea about how many ads you might expect to hear when you’re checking out a new audiobook. The company says that a total of 8 ads could be played on audiobooks over a 24-hour period. Honestly, that’s not that bad — especially since it’s hard to avoid an ad every 15 minutes now on a lot of podcasts.

The rollout of ads comes about a week after the company announced it would be releasing over 40 titles in Dolby Atmos, the first time it (and anyone, I believe) has brought the audio experience to audiobooks.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.