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Google launches audiobook service in a bid to compete with Audible

Google launches audiobook service in a bid to compete with Audible
Google Play Books is Google's new audiobook service. (Getty Images / iStockphoto)

Google has launched a new audiobook service, seeking to compete with the Amazon-owned company Audible.

The technology company unveiled Google Play Books on Tuesday, allowing readers in 45 countries to play audiobooks purchased through the service on several platforms, including Google Home, the company's popular smart speaker.

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Google is providing another storefront for audiobooks alongside Audible, Apple's iBooks and a number of smaller independent and publisher-based online sellers.

Google Play Books' service is supported across multiple platforms, meaning that customers will be able to pick up listening where they left off on a variety of devices, including Android phones and iPhones, Google said in a news release.

The launch of Google Play Books comes with steep discounts on a variety of popular books, including "Fire and Fury," Michael Wolff's controversial look at the first months of the Trump administration, and Ernest Cline's nostalgia-heavy science fiction novel "Ready Player One," soon to be released as a film directed by Steven Spielberg.

The two books were among the bestselling titles on the service as of Wednesday morning, along with Stephen King's "It," George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-four" and J.K. Rowling's "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" read by actor Eddie Redmayne.

Google is offering a 50% discount on the first audiobook a customer purchases, which is a sign that it's planning to be an aggressive competitor in the market.

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