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audibleAmazon is connecting its Audible audiobook subsidiary to its Prime membership program for the first time, giving Prime subscribers access to the Audible Channels digital audio service and a selection of Audible audiobooks.

The new Prime benefit was announced this morning, in the latest move by Amazon to expand the appeal of its $99/year membership program.

Audible Channels, which rolled out in July, offers a lineup of original audio content including lectures, news articles and comedy shows. Audible Channels normally costs $4.95/month on a standalone basis, or about $60/year. It’s also included with $14.99/month Audible subscription. Amazon’s move makes Audible Channels free for Prime subscribers.

In addition, Amazon says Prime subscribers will be able to stream audiobooks from a rotating selection of more than 50 titles. Examples cited by the company include Mary Kubica’s The Good Girl, Karl Marlantes’ What It Is Like to Go to War, Matthew Quick’s The Silver Linings Playbook, Anne Lamott’s Stitches and Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game Alive.

Amazon acquired Audible for $300 million in 2008.

As of July, Amazon Prime was estimated to have 63 million members in the U.S., representing more than half of the company’s U.S. customer base for the first time. In addition to the core benefit of free shipping, Amazon Prime includes video and music streaming, unlimited photo storage, and other features.

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