Audible vs. Storytel: What you need to know
Streaming services have evolved beyond the standard Netflix offerings. These days you can stream almost anything, including podcasts and free audiobooks from your favorite creators. Right now, the trending brands in the streaming industry are Audible and Storytel.
Although operating in the same space, the two platforms offer different services. But how can you tell which one to choose or what alternatives you should consider? Settling the Audible vs. Storytel debate might give you enough information to make the best decision with your time and money.
Audible is a world-renowned audiobook service with a massive collection covering various genres. Almost every book you can find on Amazon in an eBook or hardback format is available on the Audible platform.
The service lets users exchange credits for books to which they retain full ownership. Users can buy up to four books monthly, depending on the subscription plan.
In addition to credits, Audible subscribers receive some free books for their monthly subscriptions. Essentially, the subscription money goes toward a book, and Audible matches that with another opportunity to buy. It’s one of the perks that sets Audible apart from similar platforms.
Members own the books bought on Audible. Even if they cancel their subscriptions, they can still listen to the audiobooks they purchased whenever they want. In addition, Audible has many partnerships, including with Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime members receive two credits during their 30-day free trial.
But Audible isn’t cheap. The base subscription plan costs $7.95 per month for Audible Plus and $14.95 per month for Audible Premium Plus. If members want a discount, they can commit to a basic yearly subscription at $149.50 per year, which entitles them to a two-month discount. Alternatively, people can opt to get more credits monthly (than with the regular monthly plans) by paying a $22.95 monthly subscription. The annual plan can also be increased to $229.50 per year for additional credits.
Audible charges premium prices compared to other platforms for its collection of audiobooks, Audible Originals podcasts, and other content.
Pros of Audible
Despite its pricing, Audible offers a quality service. Some of the pros of Audible include:
People can listen to their audiobooks even after canceling the subscription.
The platform has a one-year, no-questions-asked return policy on audiobooks.
Audible offers email, chat, and phone customer support 24/7.
The library has over 200,000 titles.
Audible prioritizes new books and bestsellers from the top publishers in the industry.
Users can stream audiobooks at a 64 kbps bit rate.
Audible offers audiobook discounts to members.
It’s available on almost any Apple, Android, and Windows device.
Cons of Audible
Let’s discuss the drawbacks, because no audiobook app or service is perfect:
People who want to listen to more than what Audible gives them in a month must buy new audiobooks.
Audible doesn’t have eBooks, music, and other written content. It’s strictly for audiobooks.
Storytel is a European-based subscription audiobook service that offers eBooks on the side. It has excellent multilingual support covering over 150 languages, including English, Dutch, Swedish, Hindi, German, Korean, and many more.
While similar to Audible, Storytel differentiates itself through two major categories:
Any subscription plan allows Storytel members to read how many eBooks they want on the platform. Listening to audiobooks in any genre is also unrestricted. These perks make the Audible vs. Storytel debate lean heavily in the latter’s favor.
The cost of a Storytel subscription will vary depending on the country where you live. At the moment Storytel is unavailable in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia—some of the main English-speaking countries in the world.
An example of Storytel’s monthly subscription pricing for users in France is as follows: 9.99 €/month for 15 listening hours, 14.99 €/month for 30 listening hours, and 17.99 €/month for 45 listening hours.
There are also family plans for two or three accounts, a benefit not found on the Audible platform.
While Storytel users don’t own the eBooks or audiobooks they listen to, they can go through much more content in any given month.
Pros of Storytel
Several standout features make Storytel a reputable Audible competitor:
The platform allows unlimited reading and streaming with any subscription plan.
It’s much cheaper than Audible when considering the amount of unlocked content.
It has a great collection of Hindi and other foreign materials.
Cons of Storytel
The Storytel collection is still smaller than Audible’s library.
Users need to keep paying the subscription to access their audiobooks and ebooks.
It’s only available on Android and iOS mobile devices.
It doesn’t support Windows and Mac devices.
Storytel is not available for users in many English-speaking countries like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
Not finding what you want as an audiobook? Try Speechify
While both Audible and Storytel have many benefits, they don’t offer everything. Maybe that niche book you’re looking for doesn’t have an audiobook version, maybe you don’t like the narrator of an audiobook, or maybe you want better accessbility—What can you do?
You can turn to Speechify for your audiobook needs. Speechify is a text to speech (TTS) software designed for people who want to multitask, people with visual impairments, language learners, students, anyone with dyslexia, or simply anyone who prefers listening to audio content instead of reading it. Through advanced TTS technology, Speechify can process almost any type of text document and turn it into an online or offline audio file with high-quality voices that you can listen to at any time. It even works with images thanks to its OCR technology and narration accuracy.
Speechify isn’t genre-biased like many other platforms and doesn’t depend on publishers. It can just as easily turn a textbook or biography into an audio version of itself as it can your favorite fiction books. Besides, Speechify won’t tie you to any device. It works on Windows PCs, Mac computers, iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices.
While an audiobook app or streaming service can seem like a great idea to access audio content, you can’t always find exactly what you want. Audible, Scribd, Kindle Unlimited, the Storytel app, and other similar services focus on bestsellers and trending book titles. Speechify can help you create non-fiction audiobooks like educational materials, guides, short stories, and anything you might have on your bookshelf.
Conclusion: Try Speechify first as an all-in-one solution
You don’t have to let streaming services limit your choice of content and genres. Speechify will transform almost anything into an audiobook, whether it’s a scanned textbook, an eBook, or a long-form journalism article.
Give it Speechify premium a try with the free trial, experience lifelike narrations, and follow along at your preferred speed if you like. Of course, you can also use the free version of Speechify for many of the same great text to speech features.