Audible, the audio storytelling service by Amazon, on Thursday brought five sleep- and relaxation-focussed audio series to Amazon Echo, Fire TV, and other Alexa-enabled devices in India for free. The selection includes guided meditations, bedtime stories, and sound baths that aim to help users sleep better and overcome their sleep anxiety amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Alexa users can also access the entire ‘Sleep’ selection through the Audible Suno skill.
Customers with Amazon Echo, Fire TV, and other Alexa-enabled devices can access Audible’s selection called “Meditations: The Audible Sleep Collection” by saying, “Alexa, help me sleep.” The entire ‘Sleep’ catalogue can also be accessed through the Audible Suno skill by asking, “Alexa, open Audible Suno”, and then choosing “Sleep” as the genre option.
The ‘Sleep’ collection includes autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), meditations, bedtime stories, soundscapes, and sound baths that are curated to provide a sound night’s sleep. It also includes celebrity narrators such as Diddy (Honor Yourself), Nick Jonas (The Perfect Swing), and Curtis Stone (Escoffier: The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery).
Users who don’t own an Alexa device can also access the free collection on their Android smartphones by directly using the Amazon app.
“We saw a huge surge in demand for our sleep titles recently which was the main reason we decided to take this catalogue to Alexa — we know people are actively looking for calming content to help them relax and unwind these stressful times,” said Shailesh Sawlani, Country Head, Audible India, in a prepared statement.
Amazon claimed that it saw a “significant increase” in interactions for health and wellness related content like guided meditation and workout music through Alexa. However, the company has not provided any concrete numbers to define the increment it received.
“Adding to our existing range of Alexa features and skills for relaxation, meditation, and yoga, we are happy to bring the experience of the Audible sleep series to our customers for a stress free and sound sleep,” said Puneesh Kumar, Country Leader for Alexa, Amazon India.
For the last few months, Amazon has been working rigorously to expand Audible’s user base in India. The subscription-based service was launched in November 2018 with a monthly charge of Rs. 199. In 2019, the US tech giant introduced Audible Suno as its India-first offering for Audible with free access to original and exclusive series from celebrities such as Bollywood stars and singers.
Audible also received 100,000 free podcast shows in October 2020 to take on the likes of Spotify and Apple Podcasts.