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Almost everyone thinks of reading a book (some more than others of course) but not all of us have the time, patience or the energy to read an entire book in our busy tightly packed schedules.
That is the reason that audiobooks are becoming increasingly popular. Just plug in your headphones and you can listen to a book being read to you or play it in your car on the way to work. That’s up to you of course, but the thing is audiobooks are a boon to a very many people.
Now, the main concern for people is where do you find a good collection of audiobooks. Well, the answer to that is Audible. Audible is basically a provider of spoken entertainment, information and educational programming on the internet. Besides audiobooks, Audible also has audio versions of magazines and newspapers. Audible not only sells audio books but it also has its own production of audio items.
Audible is owned and managed by Amazon, who bought them in 2008. Audible has a collection of over 200,000 audiobooks.
The problem that some people might have with Audible that it is kind of expensive. The Gold Plan, which is the best plan they have costs USD 15 per month which gives you 1 credit that you can use to buy an audiobook. Of course, you also get membership privileges such as a 30% discount on all audiobooks but it still not does not make it any less pricey.
Another problem might be that Audible uses Digital Rights Management (DRM) which means that audiobooks bought through Audible can only be played on its official application.
So, we are here to tell you about the best alternatives to Audible which might not be able to provide you with as big a collection but would be considerably cheaper.
A good alternative for Audible is Audiobooks Now. It has a collection of over 85,000 audiobooks and has a pricing plan of USD 4.99. At this price, you get membership rights which translates to 50% off your first audiobook each month and 30-40% off everything else.
Audiobooks Now has applications available both on Android and iOS. Also, it does not DRM protect all its audiobooks as is the case with Audible.
Nook Audiobooks is owned and operated by Barnes & Nobles, which is also a major competitor for the Kindle e-books. Nook contains something over 60,000 audiobooks but what makes it worthwhile is that you don’t need to pay any additional membership fees. You can buy an audiobook directly by paying its price. As such, audiobooks on Nook might be a little higher priced. So, this is better suited for people who are not very prolific readers but like to read once in a while. Nook is available on all major platforms.
Downpour is very different from other audiobook providers and this is because Downpour lets you rent audiobooks instead of buying them. Now, Downpour has a membership fee of USD 12.99 but it is recommended because of its rental facilities and DRM free content.
Rental periods and prices vary from one book to the other but generally speaking, audiobooks can be rented for 30-60 days with rent being anywhere between USD 2.95-9.95.
Scribd is probably the best alternative for Audible. In fact, if spoken honestly, Scribd is actually better than Audible.
Why is that you might ask. Well, Scribd has a monthly subscription fee of USD 8.99. At this price you get access to over 150,000 e-books, audiobooks, newspapers, magazines and even articles.
The membership includes 3 book credits and 1 audiobook credit each month as audiobooks are generally not covered in the plan and the book credits will help you in acquiring a few premium e-books, which you would need to buy.
Audiobooks is a Canadian company which offers the same deal as Audible with membership fee being USD 15 per month for 1 credit which you can use to buy an audiobook. You would need to buy additional credits if you so desire to get another audiobook.
All in all, Audible is better because Audiobooks is charging the same price but for a smaller collection of audiobooks which is a little over a 100,000.
Playster does not only provide audiobooks but it also has movies, e-books and music. The drawback with Playster is that it has a much smaller collection as compared to the others on our list but it makes up for it with the fact that the audiobooks are free for you to listen to within your monthly subscription fee. If you only want access to audiobooks, it will cost you USD 14.99 per month whereas an all-access subscription will cost you USD 24.99 per month.
Simply Audiobooks is fairly new and they provide you rental audiobooks via CD rather than getting it digitally. They charge monthly rates starting from USD 19.98. The price might seem high at first but what makes it better is that it includes unlimited rentals. So, it is really up to you how many books you can finish in a month. On demand, they mail you the audiobook CD and you can mail it back to them once you are done. Another good thing is that shipping is free of cost and they don’t charge you any late fees.
Audio books are now available for purchase on the Google Play Store as well. Google does not charge any subscription fee for the audiobooks and it is also providing very good discounts, with 50% off on your first purchase. Now, it is not really clear how big Google’s audiobook collection is but, considering it is Google, it would be a substantially good collection.
Google provides audiobooks in 9 languages which are available in 45 countries. Another advantage of getting your audiobooks on Google Play Store is that you can play your audiobook through Amazon echo or through Google assistant.