Audible, the audiobook service owned by Amazon, has discontinued its daily audio digests of stories from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.
The audio programs, which were available as a perk for Audible subscribers, had been around for more than two decades in some cases. The decision to discontinue the digests reflects the growing number of daily news podcasts, and the rise of other services offering human-narrated audio of newspaper and magazine stories.
Responding to GeekWire’s inquiry about the move, an Audible spokesperson provided copies of emails alerting subscribers to the change. The messages directed subscribers to the lineup of podcasts on Audible, and specifically recommended NPR’s Up First as “another way to get your news fix.”
Audible and Amazon Music added podcasts in 2020. The New York Times is testing a new audio product of its own. The Times acquired Audm, which offers human-narrated stories from a variety of publications, in 2020.
Audible’s newspaper audio digests featured human narrators reading a selection of stories from each newspaper. Audible’s New York Times Audio Digest launched in February 1999, almost a year before Amazon made its first strategic investment in Audible. Amazon acquired Audible in 2008.
The Times digests ended on Dec. 31, the Journal on Nov. 30, and the Post on Nov. 13.