Following the invention of the phonograph in 1878, Thomas Edison had an idea that would revolutionize the future of communication.
While leaning over his new machine, Edison read the words: “Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow.”
These were the first spoken words to be recorded and subsequently Edison imagined if it would be possible to record a whole book in the future.
Almost 150 years later, he would be amazed to discover more than 400,000 audiobooks available to download directly to his phone.
Audiences are expected to experience over 25% growth in audiobooks until 2027, according to industry estimates. Growth is being augmented by the ease of access for physically disabled and non-English speaking groups.
There has been a steady increase in the popularity of audiobooks in the last few years, and it seems as if the pandemic-induced lockdown has only fueled people’s appetites.
Their audio experience was customized whenever and wherever they wanted.
Today, you can download hundreds of thousands of audiobooks from dozens of fantastic audiobook services.
There are a few services that require you to subscribe monthly or annually, while others offer simple one-time charges for each audiobook you download. Some of these sites offer a fantastic selection of audiobooks absolutely free as well.
Most of these services can be accessed from your tablet or smartphone, but others are accessed through websites that you can also access from a laptop or desktop computer.
It is possible to download audiobooks to pretty much any device you choose, so that you can listen to them wherever and whenever you like.
There will be a huge boom in audiobook subscription services in 2021 as their popularity grows. Today, most of us have very busy schedules, and we don’t always have the time to read as much as we’d like.
The great thing about audiobooks is that you can listen while you do other things, such as working out, cleaning the house, or cooking dinner.
Why are Audiobooks so Expensive?
The cost of producing audiobooks is significantly higher than hardcovers or ebooks of the same book.
This is due to the fact that it requires significant upfront investments such as casting voice artists, renting studios, narrating the book, and working with audio engineers.
The target audience for audiobooks is usually much smaller than that of movies or music, so publishers have to charge more to make a profit.
Because of these factors, audiobooks can easily accumulate large sums, and not everyone is able to afford to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on them during the course of their lives.
Audiobook Subscriptions: The Cheapest Way to Listen to Audiobooks
Luckily, there are several affordable audiobook subscription services available, allowing people to consume books and fuel their curiosity.
Finding a subscription to a service that has books you’d like to read and that is affordable is the best way to listen to audiobooks.
The subscription process for audiobooks is the same as for digital subscriptions. According to the platform and the plan you choose, you can access a limited or unlimited number of audiobooks for a monthly or annual subscription fee.
Unlike individual audiobooks, which range from $25 to $50, you can subscribe to an audiobook service for half the price and listen to one or sometimes unlimited audiobooks every month.
Best Audiobook Subscription and Services
Audiobook service Audible is, without a doubt, the largest and most popular in 2021. There are more than 200,000 titles in its collection, covering every subject under the sun.
This enormous collection is the result of Amazon buying the service. It’s no wonder why Audible is so popular when it comes to audiobooks. Audible offers audiobooks for purchase, streaming, and renting.
The service also allows you to download selected audiobooks so that you can listen to them offline.
A user can easily navigate through the Audible app itself. In case you’re not satisfied with an audiobook after starting it, you can return or exchange it.
You can keep an audiobook for as long as you want once you’ve downloaded it to your device, even if it’s just on a free trial and has passed its expiration date.
- A free audible original title is included with your entry-level subscription with Audible. You will receive one credit for any title and one free credit for any title. This means that you can receive one premium book per month for $14.95.
- The cost per book would be $12.45, which is the lowest price per book in the industry, if you subscribe annually for $149.50.
- Another option is to purchase two audiobook credits for $22.95 per month, which works out to $9.56 per book. This would be a saving of $5 per book.
- You can change the listener’s speed, set bookmarks, and set a sleep timer. A car mode and ad-free offline listening are also available in the application.
- Even if you cancel your subscription with Audible, the books are yours to keep. There is 24/7 customer support available through the subscription service, unlike other audiobook platforms.
- Additionally, Audible offers an extensive collection of professional podcasts that are available free to members, and during the holiday season, they also send Christmas stories for the whole family.
The Scribd audiobook platform is another excellent option. There might not be as many users as Audible, but it definitely competes with the company.
Scribd originally focused on e-books when it launched. Nevertheless, Scribd users nowadays have access to a large collection of e-books, audiobooks, magazines, and sheet music, in addition to thousands of e-books.
Scribd is available as a browser extension and as an app for mobile devices. Users of Scribd can download audiobooks to listen to offline and stream them on the go.
The business model of Scribd is very similar to that of Netflix; it licenses content from publishers and pays them per user.
Consumers are charged only a small monthly subscription fee for access to a large amount of content.
- For the duration of your subscription, you’ll have access to the Scribd library of hundreds of books, audiobooks, and magazines. It costs $9.95 per month.
- Stopping the subscription means losing access. This is not a problem for many people; if you listen to audiobooks on a regular basis and do not wish to acquire your own library, then it is a good solution for you.
- The platform also allows you to upload your documents and books, which makes Scribd Audiobooks different from its competitors. MUBI, Pocket, and FarFaria are also available to Scribd members.
- A clean design makes the app easy to use and shows you recommendations based on the things you’ve read and listened to.
There is a great deal of difference between Libro.fm and other subscription services that provide audiobooks. This service allows you to purchase audiobooks directly from struggling bookstores.
No matter where you are, Libro.fm lets you listen to the type of story you like whenever you want! You’ll be able to find an audiobook that fits your tastes among the thousands of options available.
It is possible to choose which audiobooks you would like to listen to, including New York Times bestsellers and other hidden gems from independent book sellers that could become favorites.
- This service is the same price as Audible, but you can choose an independent bookstore to receive a portion of profits from your membership or any one-time purchases. It costs $14.95 per month for one credit that can be used on any audiobook.
- Libro.fm offers a free 30-day trial so you can determine whether it is the right fit for you. Plus, unlike most other services, your credit card won’t be charged if you forget to cancel.
- When you subscribe on a monthly basis, you get 30% off the list price, plus a credit every month.
- Hand-curated by expert book sellers, you’ll find hidden gems. And you’ll be supporting locally owned stores.
- In addition to different reading speeds, bookmarks, and library organization, the Libro.fm app provides a sleep timer.
Audiobooks.com is an app that provides easy access to thousands of audiobooks, ranging from bestselling novels to self-help and textbooks.
Furthermore, it offers a good selection of free audiobooks as well as podcasts.
Additionally, the application has received positive reviews due to its clever additions, making it extremely easy to use.
If you’re prone to falling asleep when listening, there’s a built-in sleep timer. Just set a timer, and it will cut off automatically at set time; you can even set it to sleep while you work.
- Free Trial: There is a free 30-day trial offer available via Audiobooks.com during which one full audiobook credit can be accessed for free, along with a free VIP book.
- Monthly membership: Membership is $14.95 per month, and you’ll receive 1 credit for each book you own, plus one more VIP book from a curated selection.
- Therefore, each book costs $7.48 on average.
- The app gives you the option to change playback speed, set auto-bookmarks, use a sleep timer, and sync your listening across devices.
- Keeping listening from one device to another is easy, and you can continue from where you left off.
E-readers produced by Kobo’s Toronto-based company are renowned for their design and functionality. Rakuten Kobo’s store rivals Amazon’s Audible when it comes to audiobooks, just as Kobo’s physical hardware competes with Amazon in the ebook space.
With over 10,000 titles in its library, Kobo has an impressive collection, and since it’s a relatively new service, the list is always being added to.
There is a monthly fee for this subscription service (relatively low to its competitors). You receive a free audiobook each month as part of your subscription.
- At $9.99 a month, Kobo offers the most affordable audiobook subscription option on this list. Additionally, they offer you the opportunity to build your audiobook library without a membership on the cheap.
- There is confusion for users because Kobo’s audiobook store shows results for both e-books and audiobooks in its search bar.
- Whether you cancel your subscription or not, Kobo lets you keep your books.
Are Audiobooks Worth It?
- It’s worth the effort even if you come up with one idea that makes your life better.
- Access thousands of audiobooks anytime, anywhere with flexible audiobook subscription services.
- Several of them offer free trials and some are completely free, so you have no risk in giving them a shot.
- Don’t delay – try out a free sample of one of the top-rated audiobooks to improve yourself right away.
There is nothing like audiobooks to entertain and inform on the move. When you work and have a family, it can be difficult for you to fit reading into your schedule.
Audiobooks enable you to do that. Several of the world’s top tech companies, including Google, Amazon, and large publishers, are entering the audiobook business because the industry is growing rapidly, raking in billions of dollars in downloads annually.
Audiobooks aren’t just about dollars; they’re also about listeners. The benefits of listening extend far beyond the content.
The benefits include improved vocabulary, increased comprehension, and most importantly, time savings! Even if your schedule prohibits you from reading, keep your love of reading alive. With the aforementioned audiobook subscriptions, you can listen to a lot of books without carrying much weight.
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