The biggest name in audiobooks is Audible by Amazon — but is it worth the prices?
Touted as the largest online bookstore thanks to Amazon, Audible is the leader of the audiobook market. Listeners will love navigating its well-designed website to pore over stacks of content — audiobooks and podcasts included. But higher prices and the inability to purchase titles through the app may be disappointing to many.
What is Audible?
Audible is the online audiobook chapter of Amazon — the biggest digital marketplace worldwide. Audible is solely focused on audio content, but if you’re familiar with the Amazon store, then you’ll feel immediately at home browsing the store. In fact, you’ll find the website’s clutterless design makes the shopping experience quite simple.
Besides audiobooks, other content is available through the service, including podcasts from notable names like Joe Rogan, Stephen Fry and Ben Shapiro, plus newspapers, magazines, speeches, TV programs, radio and more.
Pros and cons
Make sure you know what’s what with Audible:
- Biggest catalogue of titles on the market
- Forever keep your audiobooks
- Integration into Kindle devices
- Listen anytime, anywhere you go
- Credit system is restrictive to big consumers
- Limited integration with Amazon Prime
- Full retail price often higher than other stores
- Can’t buy audiobooks directly through the app
How much does Audible cost?
Audible allows you to buy audiobooks individually at their listed prices — which are pretty pricey. It rarely runs any sales and prices are often between $20 and $50 each, especially for new releases or popular titles.
But the good news is, subscribing to Audible substantially reduces prices. Here’s a breakdown:
|Gold Monthly||$14.95 per month||1 per month|
|Platinum Monthly||$22.95 per month||2 per month|
|Gold Annual||$149.50 per year||12 per year|
|Platinum Annual||$229.50 per year||24 per year|
|Audible Escape Subscription||No credits|
Does Audible have a free trial?
Yes — Audible has a 30-day free trial. You’ll receive one free intro audiobook, and you can choose any title you like.
You can also cancel at any time, either before or after your trial ends. Anything you buy during your membership period is yours to own forever.
Audible membership benefits
You’ll receive exclusive membership perks when you sign up with Audible, including the following:
- Purchase discount of 30%
- Two free Audible Originals each month
- Monthly or annual credits which can be used toward anything Audible offers
- Daily deals
- Easy title exchange
- Complimentary digital newspaper subscription
Audible reviews and complaints
Others’ opinions are fair play here — this is what they’re saying about Audible as of October 2020:
|Apple App Store||4.9 out of 5 stars (3.07M ratings)|
|Google Play||4.5 out of 5 stars (1.04M ratings)|
|Amazon Appstore||4.4 out of 5 stars (4,830 ratings)|
Alternatives to Audible
When it comes to content versus price, Kobo is the next best option on the market. It’s a bit smaller on library size, and its price reflects that difference.
But most of the big-name books are there, and it has a comparable app with similar user-friendly features.
Also impressive, but a little more pricey, is Audiobooks.com and its subscription service. It has a solid library that wins out in quantity and quality every time. Plus, its app has been a strong contender to Audible since the beginning.
If you’re the kind of audiobook listener that goes through way more than one a month, Scribd is a consideration. It offers unlimited reads with its subscription price, putting no boundaries on what you can consume.
Also, Blinkist is an option for something different if you prefer works in the nonfiction, self-help or business education genre. It’s a summary service, so larger titles are broken down into 15 to 20 minute-length chunks that you can digest in short spurts. And its subscription service offers unlimited access to a growing catalog of 2000+ works.
Compare audiobook services
Melanie Huddart joined Finder’s editorial team in 2017, helping to polish up content across niches that include home loans, share trading, shopping and travel. Melanie earned a BA in Specialized Honors English and a BEd from York University in Toronto, Canada. When she isn’t focused on making articles shine, you can find her hanging with her son and her dog, practicing yoga or searching for the next greatest beach.
Like its online marketplace, Amazon brings you an immense audiobook collection on Audible — an easily navigable online library available for your listening pleasure. Your titles are yours to keep, and you can download to listen while on the move. But full retail prices on most titles can be restrictive for many, and Prime members may be put off with a disconnect to Audible.
As with anything, your best choices come from thorough research — be sure to compare audiobook services to find the best for you.