After dropping downloadable audiobooks earlier this year, Barnes & Noble is returning to the business with the release of the Nook Audiobooks App for Android devices. The app offers access to 50,000 digital audiobooks, and features audiobook samples, recommendations and regularly discounted titles.
The Nook Audiobooks app is available today, November 19, in the Google Play store. To launch the new app, Nook Media has a limited-time offer of two free audiobooks from a weekly list of bestselling titles. The audiobook app—which is separate from the Nook e-book app—is launching on the Android operating system. (Nook tablet devices are produced in partnership with Samsung, which uses the Android OS.) Support for Apple’s iOS 8 platform is slated for Spring 2015.
Nook Media's v-p of digital content, Kashif Zafar, said the new app is "designed for listeners, not readers. It offers a clean and simple design focused on consumption and discovery.” Zafar added that B&Ns earlier downloadable audiobook section was dropped, in June, because it was cumbersome to use.
The app is designed to engage a general audience, that may not use audiobooks. “It's not just for audiophiles,” Zafar noted.
The app highlights titles that use authors as narrators, and audiobooks that offer musical scores and sound effects. Each title on the Nook Audiobook storefront has a button that will play a sample immediately; each title also has a control panel designed around the book’s cover art, with a plot summary. And the app also provides something called the Daily Find, which features a new discounted audiobook each day.
Zafar said the app was created in response to “continued growth in the audiobook market.” The app, he added, is intended to “lower the bar for entry to audiobooks, and get consumers to give them a try.”