Audible is owned by Amazon and is focused on selling digital audio works and entertainment, including books, podcasts, TV programs, magazines, educational shows, and so on.
What all of these things have in common is that they are available as a digital audio file that can easily be placed into a user’s Audible library and then played back using software on smartphones and so on.
However, Audible is not the only digital book media provider. If you are someone who is looking to find alternatives to Audible for whatever reason, we have collected the 20 best options below (the list is not sorted in any particular order):
Table of Contents
- 1) Libby App by Overdrive
- 2) Kobo Books
- 3) Google Play Books
- 4) LibriVox
- 5) Scribd
- 6) Hoopla
- 7) eStories
- 8) AudioBook Boom
- 9) Audio Books Now
- 10) Nook Audiobooks
- 11) DownPour
- 12) Playster
- 13) Audiobooks.com
- 14) Libro FM
- 15) Spooks App
- 16) Realm FM
- 17) Apple Audiobooks
- 16) OpenAudible
- 19) Smart AudioBook Player
- 20) Chirp
- The Importance of Audiobooks
Have you ever wanted to borrow any of the audiobooks from your local library, but need an easy way to do it?
Libby is a mobile application from OverDrive that allows you to borrow any eBook or audiobook from a local library that supports it using your existing library card.
This may take some getting used to if you’ve always been a library-goer, but the convenience is amazing.
What makes Libby even better is that you can sample any of the books to see if you want to either stream it to your device or download it to your digital device library for offline reading. It also works with eBooks via the nice built-in eBook reader.
Kobo is a well-known name to fans of eBooks and they have now added an audiobook option to their service offerings. For a monthly fee, you get access to millions of books in audiobook format so you can listen on the go via your smart device.
Furthermore, any audiobooks that you download through your subscription period you get to keep. From bestsellers to independents, Kobo has a big marketplace that is welcoming new authors all the time.
There is 30-day free trial and then it’s $9.99 per month.
Being one of the biggest digital companies in the world, Google has a vested interest in having an easy-to-use audiobook service.
What’s great about Google Play Books is that it’s widely available on Android and there is no monthly subscription fee. You simply buy audiobooks as you go and add them to your Google Play library.
What is so unique about the LibriVox platform is that it offers completely free public domain books to anyone.
Furthermore, anyone can sign up with the service to become a reader so that there are even more books available for users of the LibriVox service.
LibriVox is a great marriage of public spirit and the digital world, and it would suit someone who doesn’t want to pay a subscription, but just wants to dig into all manner of titles.
Scribd is a service that includes over one million bestsellers, along with plenty of other audiobook material.
It was the first such service to offer a flat fee subscription service, and for this you get unlimited access to all titles in the vast library.
You can read your Scribd library or listen to your audiobooks wherever you are with your smart device, or just access your library through a desktop or laptop.
The monthly subscription of Scribd is $8.99 / month.
Like Libby, Hoopla is a digital service that offers anyone the chance to borrow audiobooks and others from their local library.
It works with a wide range of devices, including Apple and Android, and it even supports Chromecast and Apple TV.
You can stream them or download them directly. Just be aware that like other such services, the titles are automatically removed from your personal library at the end of the borrowing period.
This service offers over 120 thousand audiobooks for a flat monthly subscription fee that can be canceled at any time. It’s available via free app on Apple and Android devices, so you can take your audiobook library anywhere you go.
There are various pricing plans in three categories (basic, plus, premium) starting with $11.99 monthly and above.
Audiobook Boom is a unique service that offers listeners the chance to get sale price and free audiobooks, and for writers to have their books promoted.
Listeners can review and rate books on any number of websites, and a book author can decide if that person is deserving of one of their audiobooks.
The service also helps promote audiobooks through sale prices to their subscribers.
For a low monthly fee, you get access to thousands of discount-priced books. The monthly fee just grants you access, as if you were at an exclusive supermarket, but the sales on audiobooks here are often very deep discounts.
In fact, many people find that they are cheaper than anywhere else, as long as you’re happy to pay the monthly club fee for access.
Nook is an attractive service and a long established brand owned by the venerable Barnes and Noble. In this sense, it attracts many users looking for the latest bestselling books and depth of quality.
The Nook app is attractive, easy to use, and available in both Android and iOS flavors. Books that are purchased are added to a cloud account so they are never lost and are always ready to stream or download when the mood to listen to a book arises.
For people who don’t listen to audiobooks all the time and just want to know that they can get them whenever they want, Downpour is an excellent service.
Its history goes back to 1987 and the audiobook on audio cassette tape. These days, they are producing digital audiobooks and even publishing their own books.
What makes this service so good for some people is that it’s possible to simply buy extra credits to be used to buy books whenever you need to.
There’s no monthly fee to worry about if you’re not able to listen to audiobooks all the time. The only real downside is that the books selection may be a bit thin compared to other platforms, but it certainly has a convenient business model for customers.
There is also an optional membership of $12.99 per month which gives you huge discounts on audiobook retail prices.
Many audiobook sites talk about how low their prices are, but often they are not saving their customers any money at all. In fact, many entertainment streaming services have hidden costs that add up without customers even realizing it.
Playster aims to change all of this. With a single flat monthly fee of $14.95, you get unlimited access to all of their audiobooks.
This means no more buying individual books. You just pay the fee and listen to whatever you like. In addition, Playster also offer other media, such as movies and music with various levels of monthly fee set-up.
With a good-looking site and a recognizable name, Audiobooks is a good service. For a monthly fee, you get access to plenty of titles and even get to choose from their VIP curated books program as an added bonus.
If you are a VIP subscriber ($14.95 per month) you get to download free audiobooks which comes to 2 books per month, which is a great way for people just starting out with audiobooks to build their personal libraries.
If you’re coming from another audiobook service, Libro FM is the one for you. If you are switching from any other audiobook provider, Libro FM will give you three of their books for free just for signing up to their monthly subscription service.
Additionally, if a monthly fee doesn’t suit your listening habits or your schedule, they offer an option where you can simply buy whenever you want with no strings attached.
The monthly membership costs $14.99 and you get your fist audiobook for free.
Spooks is not just an amazing website, it’s also an amazing and free service. If you thought that Spotify was just for music streaming, you’d be wrong. There are in fact, lots of audiobooks available on Spotify that can be downloaded. Spooks is a completely free service app that helps you find Audiobooks on Spotify.
Realm FM is an audio entertainment company that creates audiobook series and podcasts that are available on its platform.
They are based in New York and LA, and they collaborate with different writers, directors, artists, and actors to create diverse and immersive shows.
They offer an IOS app, an Android app, and online access, and you can start out with a two-week unlimited trial. If you are looking for a variety of podcasts that are creative and captivating, this is a great platform.
You can get an unlimited annual membership for $29.99 or a monthly membership for $3.99 a month.
Apple Audiobooks is available for Mac, iPhone, iPad, iTouch devices, and the Apple Watch. You can also use it on a PC through iTunes.
They have more than 30,000 free titles to choose from for IOS users only. There isn’t a membership plan and they offer a lengthy preview to help you decide if you want to buy the audiobook.
It is easy to use and you only pay for the books you want to buy. The service is free but the books cost varying amounts. This service is great for the occasional listener who doesn’t need unlimited access to titles.
OpenAudible is an app that helps you download, view, and manage your Audible audiobooks in one location.
It supports all Audible regions and it has automation features that make it easy to update your library when you add new titles.
You can also convert your books to MP3 or M4B formats so you can enjoy them on any audio player. It works on Mac, Windows, and Linux systems, and you can automatically organize all of your titles as an HTML library.
It is free to try and you can buy it for $19. You can download all or some of your books by connecting to Audible.
This is an app that is designed for playing audio books. You need to have the audiobooks on your phone and it works on Android devices.
You can use the initial version free for 30 days and then it changes to a more basic version with fewer features.
The paid version is just $2, so it is affordable. Once you configure the settings so that the app knows where you have your audio books, it will discover them and play them.
It can also access covers for each title. When you choose a title to play, it shows the book cover, title, track name, and playing time.
Chirp is a free audiobook service that gives you limited-time deals on popular audio books. You can sign up for a free account and let them know what kinds of books you want to listen to.
You will get daily recommendations where you can save up to 95% on popular titles. They offer a free audiobook app for both IOS and Android, and you can stream books in the app or download them to listen to offline.
You can use your phone, tablet, or computer to listen as well as Alexa-enabled devices. They don’t offer a subscription but they have discounted offers for you to purchase different titles.
The Importance of Audiobooks
There is no doubt at all that audiobooks have joined streaming movies and music as one of the many entertainment options available today.
With so many media streaming services vying for your attention and our dollar, it’s wise to do some research on the best services and what they can offer you.
Audiobooks are fantastic for people who don’t have a lot of time. If you’re busy with your career and your family, listening to an audiobook in the car can be a great way to unwind and relax while on a long commute to work.
Whilst not often spoken about, audiobooks are also great for people who have vision impairments or who are blind.
Audiobooks in this context offer an entirely new way of accessing books that would otherwise not have been accessible in the past.
In this sense, they are important to some of the most disadvantaged in our community and help them to connect with a whole new world of fiction, informative, and educational books.
It seems that audiobooks are definitely here to stay. With so many services offering flat monthly fees, cloud storage, streaming, direct downloads, club access, and a la carte, it’s well worth looking at what suits your finances and your lifestyle.
Moreover, as you can see from the list above, the most popular Audiobook service (Audible) has many alternatives which is good for consumers for having many options.
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