Vodafone Spain said it has teamed up with Amazon to offer customers a free subscription to the Amazon’s podcast and audiobook platform, Audible. It is the first Spanish operator to do so. Under the promotion, all subscribers to Vodafone’s unlimited-data mobile plans will be given free access to Audible for four months. They can then continue listening to Audible by directly paying €9.99 (US $11.83) a month via their Vodafone bill.
The Spanish version of Audible was launched in October 2020 and now includes more than 90,000 audiobooks, exclusive podcasts and original audio series. Subscribers can listen to audiobook versions of classics such as The Great Gatsby, Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Frankenstein, Harry Potter and The Sandman, as well as podcasts relating to entertainment, true crime, comedy and news.
First-mover advantage is of great benefit to companies in any market and field of endeavor. In this case, Vodafone is the first mobile operator in Spain to enter into a partnership with the global e-commerce titan Amazon to provide access to the Audible audiobook and podcasting platform. We can expect that this deal will not only bring revenue to the operator, in time if not immediately, but also increase its subscriber base and strengthen its brand. While Audible is available outside a mobile operator’s ecosystem, this partnership offers Vodafone customers the benefit of free access at first, and later the benefit of seamless carrier billing.
Assuming that Audible’s products are indeed of value to consumers—which we think is hardly a stretch of the imagination—the fact that only Vodafone has this platform available should, in and of itself, have power to drive subscribers to the operator, as well as to drive existing Vodafone subscribers to one of its unlimited plans, in order to gain access to Audible. The fact that access to Audible is free for the first four months only makes it more attractive. And by the time the other major operators in Spain—Movistar, Orange and Yoigo—reach deals to carry audible, as is likely, Vodafone will be charging users for the service.