I'm a huge fan of audiobooks, and their exclusion from Google Play has always perplexed me. Sure, there are other apps available on Google Play that provide audiobooks such as Audible, but it just seems to make sense that Google themselves would be offering them. Thankfully, it's no longer an issue as today Google has announced that audiobooks on Google Play, is rolling out in 45 countries and nine languages after being rumored back in November.

  • Listen without a subscription. On Google Play, you can buy a single audiobook at an affordable price, with no commitments. You can also get a free preview of the book to make sure you're hooked by the story and enjoy listening to the narrator's voice. And share your favorite audiobook with everyone in the family through Family Library for no additional fee—even if they're using a different device.

  • Enjoy your audiobook with your Google Assistant. Just say "Ok Google, read my book" to listen to your favorite audiobook hands-free with the Google Assistant on your phone or speaker, like Google Home. Try "Ok Google, who is the author?" if you need a refresher, or "Ok Google, stop playing in 20 minutes" to set a timer for bedtime reading. For now, the Google Assistant integration with audiobooks is available on Android phones and smart speakers globally in English. It will be coming soon to the Assistant on Android Auto in the U.S.

  • Weave reading into your day across multiple devices. Start your morning by listening to "Ready Player One" with the Assistant on Google Home, and continue listening with the Google Play Books app on your Pixel. You can pick up where you left off no matter what device you're using, with the Assistant or the Google Play Books app—on Android, iOS, Chromecast, Android Wear, Android Auto or even your laptop.

To help kick things off, Google is offering 50% off your first audiobook selection until February 26, 2018, which must be redeemed by March 1, 2018. Sadly, the 50% off offer is only available in the United States. When it comes to pricing, you can expect to pay anything from $5 to $25 for audiobooks through Google Play.

View Audiobooks on Google Play