A few months ago we did a review of Scribd vs. Audible, and a lot of people enjoyed the post and a few asked if there were any other alternatives.
I am a huge fan of audiobooks so we were excited to see what else was out there. The closest competitor to Audible that I can find is audiobooks.com. Audiobooks.com offers a very similar product to Audible at the exact same price. So what’s the difference?
To find out, I signed up for a free 30-day audiobooks.com trial and compared it to Audible. I looked at the pricing, app, library, customer service and more.
Here’s my detailed comparison of Audiobooks.com vs. Audible so you can make an informed decision.
Audiobooks.com used to offer unlimited audiobook streams a month, but they ended that subscription model years ago. Now, a subscription costs $14.95/month and grants you access to two audiobooks per month.
Bear in mind, you don’t get any two books per month. You get to pick one from their main “premium” library and one from their “VIP” library.
Based on price, Audiobooks.com is very similar to Audible. For comparison, Audible is also $14.95/month, which gets you one audiobook credit per month plus two Audible Originals every month.
If you want to listen to more than one book per month, Audiobooks.com allows you to purchase additional credits for $14.95. This is actually a pretty good deal considering that Audible doesn’t always allow you to purchase additional credits. Sometimes Audible runs a special offer where you can add credits, but you must have a Gold or Platinum plan for more than 30 days. You are unable to buy more credits if you have a legacy membership plan, an Enterprise plan or an Audible Escape member plan. Audiobooks can sometimes cost upwards of $30 on Audible.
And just like Audible, any premium book that you “buy” using your monthly credit is yours to keep forever. You cannot keep VIP books after canceling your monthly subscription.
- Oprah’s Book Club: 13/14 books
- The only book I couldn’t find was Maggie Brown & Others: Stories by Peter Orner, but this book also wasn’t available on Audible.
- NY Times Best Books of 2019: 8/10 books
- I wasn’t able to find two books on the NY Times list: The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom and No Visible Bruises by Rachel Louise Snyder. Both of these books are available on Audible.
In general, I was happy to see that 21 of the 24 books I searched for your available on Audiobooks.com.
The other question you’re probably asking is, “what is included in the VIP library?” And you’re not alone. One of the biggest draws of audiobooks.com is that it offers twice as many books as audible, but are the books worth it?
To put it simply: not really. The book selection in the VIP library is nothing to write home about. It is very similar to Audible Originals in the sense that you probably haven’t heard of any of the authors and the titles won’t be making it onto Oprah’s Book Club lists anytime soon.
In addition to the premium library and the VIP library, audiobooks.com also has a section of completely free audiobooks. You don’t even need a subscription to take advantage of. These are mostly classic novels and children’s books, but it’s still a nice perk.
Downsides of Audiobooks.com
There are two main complaints that I continually ran into while researching audiobooks.com:
- The app is not the most user friendly.
- It can be difficult to cancel.
Let’s take a look at each of these complaints to see if they’re valid.
To be frank, I couldn’t really see what all of the complaining was about. Many of the reviews are old, so maybe audiobooks.com has updated their app. The app worked phone on my iPhone and it was easy to search for books. It might not be as user-friendly as Audible, but it isn’t terrible and I’m sure I would get used to it pretty quickly.
One thing to note: audiobooks.com is not compatible with Kindles. The app only works on Android and iPhone devices. This certainly isn’t a deal-breaker for me, but for some people, it might be.
I noticed some reviews that mentioned that you couldn’t download audiobooks for offline listening. That was not the case. When audiobooks.com was an “unlimited” service, you had to stream books. Now that they have changed their subscription model, you can easily download books.
I think this is another issue that afflicts some users and not others. I was able to send a message to the customer service team and cancel my subscription right away.
But with the number of negative reviews that mention this issue, I would at least be cautious about it and make sure to give yourself plenty of time to cancel your subscription before it charges you for another month.
Audiobooks.com Promo Code
There aren’t really “promo codes” for audiobooks.com, but if you use this link you can get your first three books for free. With the trial, you get to pick one book of your choice from their main library, then you get two more books from their “VIP selection.”
Audiobooks.com: The Verdict
At the end of the day, I will be sticking with Scribd for my audiobook needs (paired with Libby and a library card). I chose Scribd over Audible because I don’t really care about keeping the books forever and I like to listen to a lot of books (setting the player to 2x speeds is essential for this).
The library is very sizable and the majority of people will be able to find whatever book they are looking for. It’s not quite as extensive as Audible, but if you’re only listening to one book a month, you’ll have zero trouble finding something.
So what do I recommend? I suggest signing up for the free 30-day trial and taking audiobooks.com for a test spin. Just be sure to set aside some time to cancel your subscription if you don’t want to renew it for another month.
After your 30-day trial is up, try out the free options for Scribd and Audible. That’s 90 days of free audiobooks!
You might also be interested in: 15 Ways To Start Reading More Books Right Now