Audible is getting into the fitness business with a little help from Aaptiv. The Amazon-owned audiobook giant is adding content from the popular audio fitness app. There are only three guided courses to start — all firmly targeted at beginners.
There’s audio coaching to run a mile, a 5K and a guided meditation course, all with 20 sessions apiece. The service says it will be adding new courses through the year, including four workouts and a session aimed at improving sleep in the coming weeks.
In the next two weeks, Audible says it will have 8 courses available. Some of these can be previewed on the Audible website right now, where they’re listed but are grayed out.
These exclusive courses will be offered up for free to Audible members through September of next year, the company says. The content can also be purchased a la carte, if you’re not an Audible subscriber. The cost will range from $6.99 per title up to $19.99, depending on how many hours of audio content you’re purchasing.
But the larger goal here is to leverage this fitness, coaching and meditation programming as a means of attracting Audible subscription sign-ups – especially as it’s content you can’t get elsewhere, including in Aaptiv’s own app.
Audible has been working to expand the type of content it offers beyond traditional audiobooks over the past couple of years. Today, not all its audio content actually has a physical book counterpart, in fact. For example, its podcast-like Audible Channels let people listen to short-form programming while on the go or from their Echo speaker. And its larger originals catalog – which includes Audible Channels – has now expanded to 77 titles.
The company says it’s planning to double the amount of originals it offers, and has over 150 titles now in the various stages of production.
Audible plans to more than double that by year-end, it says. This obviously ties in with Amazon’s larger voice ambitions with its Alexa-powered Echo devices – an ideal platform for Audible subscribers to consume all this new audio content.
As for Aaptiv, Audible parent company Amazon invested in the startup just this June, which may have allowed a partnership like this to take root. At the time of the deal, Aaptiv CEO Ethan Agarwal had noted there was a lot of potential to develop training services that could work with Alexa – for example, fitness workouts played over Echo devices.
These fitness programs could also potentially become an Amazon Prime perk in the future, but Audible couldn’t comment on any plans of that nature at this time.