Audiobook streaming services have blown up over the past several years. The fiscal contribution that audiobooks have brought to the book industry quadrupled from 2010 to 2020. For those finding an outlet for commute or travel, the ease of streaming services has given rise to a generation of avid audiobook listeners.
What is Audible.com and how much does Audible cost?
In 1995, Audible made its appearance as an independent company that produced a digital audio player similar to an iPod that purchasers could use to listen to their favorite audiobooks. By 2003, Audible had entered into a deal to provide audiobooks for iTunes.
Audible entered the audiobook production scene in 2008 and was purchased by Amazon. Since then it has continued to grow and has become one of the top sources for acquiring audiobooks. Today, Audible is the largest retailer and producer of audiobooks in the United States.
Audible reviews due to customer satisfaction ratings speak volumes about the perks that it offers to those with Audible membership plans. Audible offers a 1-year return policy, no questions asked, on any book downloaded from their site as well as offline listening and sleep-timer features.
Audible currently offers two options for a monthly subscription service and both options come with a 30-day free trial:
For a monthly fee of $7.95, Audible members get exclusive access to Audible Plus membership which opens the door to a selection of Audible Originals, audiobooks, sleep tracks, meditation programs, and podcasts.
For a monthly fee of $14.95, subscribers will gain access to Audible Premium Plus membership which offers all features of the AudiblePlus subscription. In addition, those who use Audible Premium Plus will obtain 1 audible credit each month to use in exchange for an audiobook selected from an extended library of options including bestsellers, new releases, non-fiction, fantasy, and more.
Additional credits can be purchased to access even more reading content from the Audible library and books can be purchased at their advertised prices as opposed to using credits to obtain the content of major titles.
Annual plans are also available for purchasing even more credits. Audible Premium Plus Annual plans offer options for both 12 and 24 credits.
The Audible app is free and available on Apple iPhone and iOS, Android, Windows 10, and Kindle Fire Tablets and can be downloaded from the device’s app store.
Audible alternatives that might fit you better
While Audible audiobooks are the leading option in the market, several other providers may offer different services which consumers may prefer as an alternative.
Downpour Audiobooks gives its users the option of purchasing individual books in the desired formats available or enrolling in a $12.99 monthly subscription plan. The subscription includes 1 credit per month that can be used to cash in for a book from the library. The service also offers audiobook rentals, which is not common among competitors that offer similar features.
However, some reviews mention that the service does not offer a free trial option and does have select titles that will cost more than one credit.
Audiobooks.com offers a one-month free trial that gains access to 3 free books. After the free trial period has elapsed, subscribers will get the choice of one premium book from a library of over 350,000 titles and one VIP book each month as well as access to podcasts, news, sleep, and meditation content all for a subscription fee of $14.95.
Whereas other audiobook subscription options provide one monthly credit in exchange for an audiobook, Audiobooks.com offers access to two titles each month, albeit from a smaller library selection than can be found on Audible. If the subscriber chooses to do so, Audiobooks.com offers access to Audiobook clubs where subscribers can gain access to several different titles for a monthly period in exchange for one credit as an alternative to selecting a specific title.
Scribd offers one of the most affordable options as far as monthly subscriptions go for audiobook consumption. For $11.99 a month, Scribd users will gain unlimited access to hundreds of thousands of audiobooks, magazines, and even sheet music accompanied by features that allow the user to enable offline reading, highlight, bookmark, and set sleep timers. Scribd offers a 7-day free trial of its services.
Speechify – TTS Reader
Monthly subscriptions to audiobook services can get bulky and cumbersome for users who may not go through an entire book in one month. Credits can begin to stack up and will often expire if left unused, which can be hard on the bank account when a $12-$15 unused credit expires.
An alternative to monthly audiobook subscription platforms is text-to-speech software, such as Speechify. Speechify is the #1 rated text-to-speech app that will read any text including PDFs, textbooks, and much more.
While audiobooks can read books aloud to the listener, Speechify can read anything aloud and highlight the reading as it goes along, which can increase learning, comprehension, and retention of materials by using both auditory and visual consumption modes. This also offers a large benefit to those who may struggle with reading due to a learning disability such as ADHD or dyslexia. Any book sitting on the shelf at home can be transferred into audio with the help of Speechify.
Speechify is compatible with Chrome, Android, and iOS, allowing its accessibility to nearly anyone with any device. The mobile app can be downloaded from the google play app store. The software will read everything from highlighted text from the screen of a computer to pictures from the pages of a book on the shelf.
From any smart device with a camera, pictures can be taken directly from the Speechify app. These pictures can be cropped to remove any noise that makes its way into the photo, then the text from the photos can be read aloud. By spending 30 seconds taking photos of the pages of a book, an hour of audio content can be generated.
PDFs can also be turned into audio content by sharing the files with the Speechify app. Once the file is shared, the document can be opened in the app to select the specific pages or text desired. The app makes it easy to crop out the noise that is found in the headers and footers of documents. Once these crops have been made, the Speechify app lets you apply the settings to all pages in a document to keep the reading selections fluid throughout a single document.
Speechify offers many benefits as an alternative to an audiobook player, such as never needing to purchase extra credits to listen to more or premium content or not finding the specific title that is needed. How many audiobook players offer access to PDFs and textbooks? With speechify, these documents are easily turned into readable content that can be accessed from anywhere.
Is Audible cheaper than buying books?
Depending upon the average consumption of books, audible may be more cost-effective than purchasing books. The average cost of a book ranges from $10 to $25, whereas the monthly plan for Audible is somewhere in the middle at $14.95 and titles can sometimes be purchased at discounted rates under the daily deals that Audible offers.
How much data does Audible use?
On average, audiobook files are 28 MB per hour and the average length of an audiobook is about 10 hours. This means that an audiobook will require about 280 MB of data, more for longer books and less for shorter books.
Is Audible free for students?
Audible offers 3 free months of Audible Premium Plus for students, giving them access to the Audible Plus Catalog and 3 free audiobooks that they are allowed to keep for no extra cost.
Is Audible free for Prime members?
Unfortunately, an Audible subscription is not free for Amazon Prime members. Audible Plus or Audible Premium Plus memberships are separate from Prime memberships and as such will require a separate fee. However, both subscription options available through Audible offer a free 30-day trial that includes 1 free credit or 2 credits for amazon account members. Additionally, Audible books can be purchased without an Audible membership.