Audible Review: Is This Famous
Audiobook Service Really Worth It?
My alarm clock (meaning my phone) buzzed beside me, rattling my whole nightstand.
It was time.
I showered, got dressed, ate a measly breakfast, and got in the car for my 45 minute commute to work.
The radio played the same songs that it had played yesterday and the day before.
I was sick of it all.
My morning routine, my job, my life. But the one thing that truly irked me was something most people wouldn't even bother to consider.
I hated driving 45 minutes to work and back.
Pretty pathetic, huh?
I was tired of the same roads, tired of the same routine. I felt like if I could drive less, I would have more time to spend on my personal development and my own goals.
And even then, I knew that time spent on personal development was time spent on my dream life.
It was time spent on being happy.
Feeling constricted, needing a change in routine (and life), I bought my first audiobook. It was The 4-Hour Work Week by best selling author Tim Ferriss.
I plugged in my aux cord, started listening, and literally overnight, my entire life dynamic changed.
This will sound extreme, but immediately I was excited to wake up in the mornings. I showered fast, sucked down some breakfast, and was always early to work because I loved being in the car.
I changed the worst part of my day and the rest of my day followed suit.
Now not only was I listening Monday through Friday on my drove to work, I found myself listening to books on the weekends. I listened while exercising, working around the house, running errands, even as I was falling asleep!
People all over the world have fallen in love with audiobooks. And if you love to read but don't have the money or time, want to devote more to your own self-improvement, or simply want to change the routine, I've written this post to be an honest review of the audiobook giant Audible.
If you're looking for anything in particular, here's a quick table of contents for you.
This Audible review is written for those who may be on the fence about Audible or audiobooks in general. This company is a powerhouse and a giant (being owned by Amazon) and has gained a ton of ground since I started using it.
But first thing's first: who needs it?
Who Needs Audible?
Audible was created for people who want (or need) to read but are unable (or just won't do it).
It is perfect for people who have a reading disorder and find books challenging yet still want the knowledge within.
It is perfect for people who want to fall in love with incredible characters, a beautiful story, and be hooked into an excellent plot, but just don't have the time.
Audible is a masterpiece for those that realize the importance of self-improvement but simply are unable to spend the proper amount of time constructing their dream lives.
If you want to read but don't have the time, need a change in routine but don't know where to go, or desire the knowledge that books contain without actually wanting to
read (there's no shame in not enjoying reading), then Audible was created with you in mind.
If any of these are you, Audible is perfect for you.
What Audible Does
Audible started from the great idea (seriously, it was brilliant) that the company would make reading easier, faster, and more accessible.
How would they do this?
They would read the book to you.
Today, the company continues that time honored convenience.
Audible reads books to you.
And we'll talk more about this later, but Audible is capable of reading a lot of books to you. Like, a whole lot of books.
Everything from New York Times Bestsellers to indie mom-and-pop books can be found on Audible. Audible even have their own exclusive books, meaning that some books can only be found on Audible.
It's perfect to listen in the car, turn on during a run, or even for some great background noise as you clean the house, watch the kids, or do whatever your tasks for the day are.
And most surprisingly of all, having your personal butler read you books doesn't cost as much as you would think.
My average cost per audiobook is less than $9.88. At less than $10, I actually listen to books less expensively than I read them.
Audible brings the power and joys of knowledge, stories, and lives to you inexpensively in a way that anyone can use.
The Competition And Audible's Slim Chance Of Success
Audible has to compete with a couple of competitors in the audiobook space and everyone should ask one simply question when looking to get any new service: "Is this one the right one for me?"
And the fact of the matter is this: the audiobook space has a lot of players.
Each one claims to be the best at something and tries to accomplish everything, so the odds of one player being better than all the others (no matter how fragile some of them are) is really slim to none.
While there are many players in the audiobook space, only a few are truly worth considering. Outside of a few large players, other companies are extremely limited in titles (such as only having audiobooks from your local library), narrated solely by volunteers instead of professionals (and thus lowering overall voice actor quality), or only allow you to "rent" books (preventing you from downloading, listening offline, or keeping the title).
Audible's main competitors are Audiobooks Now, Audiobooks.com, and Playster. Let's take a look at each of these.
I've judged each competitor based on the size of their library, the features used, and the price of the service.
Audiobooks Now is, in my opinion, the best competitor to Audible. It has one of the more sizable libraries among audiobook sellers, ranging in at about 80,000-100,000 books.
Audiobooks Now does have some neat features, especially in its app. You can change playback speeds, decide to stream or download the book you're listening to, set sleep timers, and so on.
Audiobooks Now really tries to push their pricing model as the premium pricing model. For $4.99/month, you get 50% off your first audiobook each month and 30-40% off other purchases.
While this price sounds great, I did a search of many popular titles and found that even after the 50% discount, you actually end up paying more than what many audiobooks cost with other services, not even counting your $4.99/month membership fee.
While not every popular book was more expensive with this service, Audiobooks Now leaves some to be desired and may not be the pricing paragon it claims to be.
Audiobooks.com is another competitor of Audible. With a library of over 100,000 books, it has a larger selection than many audiobook sellers.
Audiobooks.com has many similar app functions as other audiobook sellers: set playback speeds, sleep timers, place bookmarks or notes, and so on.
Audiobooks.com has a very simple pricing model: pay $14.95/month for a credit, then buy additional credits for $14.95 if you want.
The additional credits are a nice feature because it essentially caps the cost of books at $14.95, no matter what the book is. Many books obviously cost less than $14.95 and can be purchased without using a credit.
The extra credit option is really a nice perk here. If for some reason you are totally anti-Amazon, you'll probably be pretty satisfied with Audiobooks.com.
Playster, even as a viable alternative to Audible, markets itself more as a full-service subscription than just an audiobook seller, so it has trouble competing with services like Audible.
Playster has about 40,000 audiobook titles, which means you'll be getting a much more limited selection than with other providers.
Playster has a nice app with all the common features, but I have one major gripe with the features of Playster: once your subscription ends, your audiobooks are gone. There's no option to truly purchase an audiobook.
On the flip side, Playster scores well on the Price metric because it works as a subscription service, not as a seller. So while you can't actually buy and books (and thus can't use them after the subscription), you can read as much as you want while your subscription is active.
This sounds great in theory, but the limited library really hinders the effectiveness of this Netflix-style model.
How Audible Stands Out Among Its Competitors
Even though there are many players in the audiobook space, Audible consistently outperforms on almost all key metrics.
It really is the Babe Ruth of audiobooks, hitting homer after homer.
Audible has remained my audiobook provider of choice because it consistently excels at providing what audiobook services need in regard to titles available, app and website features, and pricing. Let's take a look at each.
Audible consistently clocks in as a preferred audiobook provider because it really shines above much of the competition.
Even in the past few years, Audible has made significant improvements in regards to what all you get with this service.
To start off with, Audible's library is big. Big big. The most recent number I found was a little dated (2016) but even then, Audible was clocking in at over 200,000 books. Since I have been using Audible, they have consistently added new titles.
I have rarely searched out a book on Audible to find that it wasn't available, but it does happen occasionally. Audible doesn't contain every audiobook in the world, but I should mention that when a title is unable to be found on Audible, that title may not be available anywhere.
Audible has been great about restocking the shelves with new and excellent reads.
Audible also has some really neat features that serve to distinguish it from the competition in a lot of areas.
Since Audible is an Amazon company, they obviously link up with everything Amazon. And I mean everything. If you listen across multiple devices, your place is automatically updated so you won't have to find the exact time you left off. Another cool Amazon perk is that Audible can sync up with your Alexa device and Alexa will read your books to you.
Also in the feature list, Audible has a neat deal with Kindle called Whispersync. If you buy the Kindle and Audible versions of a book (which does get you a discount), you can have the book read to you while you follow along in Kindle. The apps automatically track where the speaker is and it's super easy to read alongside the narrator.
As far as pricing goes, Audible offers a standard option of one credit per month for $14.95 and with this monthly subscription, you get 30% off all titles.
That is pretty standard, but Audible shines above the competition in two powerful ways:
First, Audible offers more ways to subscribe than one. While the standard subscription offers credits for $14.95/credit, one subscription model can get you credits for as low as $9.57/credit. There's a wide range of options.
Surprisingly, a massive majority of the competitors I looked at only offer one membership option. Audible currently offers four.
Second, Audible offers what they call "The Great Listen Guarantee".
It. Is. Amazing.
If you don't love a book, you can return it for a full refund even after listening to it.
I'm sure there's some way they prevent abuse, but I have returned over 10% of my books and saw no repercussions.
While Audible's standard membership may be slightly more pricey than a few competitors, the wide range of titles, great feature list, and amazing refund policy more than make up for it.
Right now, Audible is offering a trial where you get any two audiobooks for free. If you're interested, click the button below.
Audible's Membership Options
As mentioned earlier that Audible stands out from competitors in one way by offering a variety of membership options.
Here, I will further explain those options. The biggest difference between memberships is how many credits you get and the average cost per credit, so here are some common traits among all the memberships.
Gold Monthly: Gold Monthly serves as Audible's standard option. After you try Audible for free, you'll be charged $14.95 per month and get one credit.
Average Cost Per Credit: $14.95
Gold Annual: Gold Annual is a bit of an upgrade from Gold Monthly. You'll pay $149.50 and receive your 12 credits all at once. This means you get two months free.
Average Cost Per Credit: $12.46
Platinum Monthly: Platinum Monthly is where Audible really begins to shine. For two credits per month, you'll pay $22.95 per month.
Average Cost Per Credit: $11.48
Platinum Annual: Platinum Annual says that if you pay $229.50, you'll receive 24 credits all at once. This plan gives you two months free, four credits free, and Platinum Annual is Audible's way of crushing the competition, even on price.
Average Cost Per Credit: $9.57
Audible's Free Trial: While Audible's membership options are wide and varied, the best membership option is always the free membership option.
On this front, Audible is offering a special promotion right now (that they could end at any time) where you can get two audiobooks for free.
Don't love the service after your two free audiobooks? No problem. They are yours to keep.
Click below to try Audible for free.
Based on the library size, the feature list, and the price points, I recommend Audible as the best audiobook service on the market today.
If you are looking to get in a good read without spending the time, need some variety on your work commute, want to improve yourself, or want to save money on books, audiobooks can serve as a great option to fill those needs.
Tell us in the comments below: What's your experience been with audiobooks? What are you looking for in an audiobook provider?
Thanks for reading!
Stay awesome. Have a great day.
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