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Kobo introduces audiobooks to its mobile e-reading repertoire

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Not everyone’s got the time to read these days, a trend which is prompting something of a return for oral storytelling – just not in the traditional sense.

With audiobooks becoming increasingly popular and accessible thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones, ebook giant Kobo has finally decided to take on Kindle's Audible audiobook service, integrating an audio player into its free iOS (opens in new tab) and Android (opens in new tab) apps along with access to a range of audiobooks.

The Canadian company says audiobooks can be purchased as a one off or, as with Audible, users can opt for a monthly subscription at a cost of US$9.99/£6.99/AU$12.99 a month.

Listen up

Subscribers to the audiobook service will be provided with a credit each month, which can be exchanged for any title from the 1.5 million-large catalogue, no matter the actual price of the book.

And like Amazon's Audible, there's a 30-day trial period before the payments will kick in, unless you cancel the service if you’re not happy with it.

Additionally, customers can earn Kobo Super Points (opens in new tab) on their subscription fees or purchases that can be redeemed for any outright Kobo purchase, with the minimum points required being 2,400.

Once a title is selected, the built-in audio player will give users control over the speed of narration, with an automatic switch-off timer option for those who listen to stories at bedtime.

The service launches today in the US (opens in new tab), Canada, UK (opens in new tab), Australia (opens in new tab) and New Zealand.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (yes, she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing cameras and lenses, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She also contributes to Digital Camera World and T3, and helps produce two of Future's photography print magazines in Australia.