It’s 2020, so unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know what audiobooks are.
Audiobooks brought in almost $1 Billion in revenue in 2018 and that momentum is continuing to grow.
Whether you queue up a motivational book on your morning commute, listen to Harry Potter while you clean the house or enjoy some historical fiction on your lunch break, audiobooks are continuing their upward momentum for many Americans.
Scribd and Audible are two of the biggest audiobook subscriptions available.
But, which subscription service is right for you?
Benefits of Audiobooks
Here are a few reasons why audiobooks might be better for you than reading a book.
You can listen to books on-the-go in your car or while you are walking the dog. They can be downloaded on your phone, iPad, computer or tablet for easy access whenever you need it with the touch of a finger.
This saves you time and allows you to multitask while learning at the same time.
You can learn new things on your way to work instead of listening to that same radio host every day during your morning commute. Audiobooks are also a great choice for travel. Whether you are driving or flying an audiobook is a great way to pass the time.
Audiobooks can be played at 1.5X or 2X speed.
Meaning you can cruise through books much faster than if you were reading them. If you can still understand the audio, the increased speed should not affect your retention and allows you to digest a lot more information.
Hearing new words will help expand your vocabulary.
It’s easy to imagine how new words are pronounced in your head, but hearing them spoken out loud will help your comprehension and improve your vocabulary. Sometimes when you read a word, it might not make sense in the context, but hearing it might help you comprehend the meaning even better.
Some people retain information better when they hear it vs. read it. If you learn better by listening than audiobooks can help you learn information and retain information faster. There might be a topic you find really dull if you had to read it, but if you listen to the book it’s much more uplighting and exciting. You’ll remember it better in the long run if you are engaged.
Great for People with Reading Disabilities
Individuals with dyslexia and other reading impairments can retain much more information by listening vs. reading.
If you find it challenging to read audiobooks are a great alternative to absorbing information.
Sometimes people have to use so much effort reading that they are unable to focus on the comprehension and memory part of the story, which makes audiobooks much more desirable and enjoyable.
No Need for Light
It doesn’t need to be light out for you to catch up on an audiobook. Driving at night? Significant other already asleep in bed? Trying to get your baby to sleep? No problem!
You can listen to audiobooks at any time of the day and not worry about disturbing those around you.
Just make sure your headphones are sufficiently charged.
Which is Better, Audible or Scribd?
Now that you know why audiobooks are a great alternative to reading. We will breakdown the differences between Audible and Scribd. From content to price to volume to restrictions we will cover it all so you can make the best decision.
Content is a significant factor in any service. Just like Netflix and Hulu, Scribd and Audible have different offerings. And in this case, the range of products is vastly different.
Audible Content Offered
Audible is strictly audiobooks. Yes, they have over 100,000 audiobooks, so if all you want to do is listen to audiobooks than Audible is your best option on the market.
Audible, similar to Netflix Originals, offers original content exclusive to them. Specific titles aren’t available anywhere else except on Audible.
Scribd Content Offered
Scribd offers audiobooks and more. They have eBooks, magazines, research papers and sheet music. The Scribd library is much more diverse.
Downloading your books is a great feature offered by both services. But what if you decide to cancel your subscription?
Will you still have access to your downloads? Yes and no.
When you purchase and download a book on audible, that book is yours. It will stay in your library for you to read as many times as you would like on your device. Technically, you are buying a copy of the book.
If you decide to cancel your subscription, you will still have access to your downloads.
Scribd is similar to Netflix. You can download as many things as you want, but you are just borrowing it. You are not purchasing anything but the right to download.
This means, if you cancel your subscription, you will not have access to your downloads anymore.
Price goes hand in hand with content. Price dictates behavior and Scribd and Audible differ considerably in this department too.
It’s important to know that Audible is owned by Amazon.
Audible is offered by different membership plans and gives you various benefits depending on the plan.
Note: Audible Escape is strictly for romance books. Members can borrow up to 10 titles at the same time.
You might be wondering, what are credits?
Audible credits allow you to purchase any audiobook you would like no matter what the listed price of the books is; essentially, one credit equals one book. Your credits are only valid for one year. If you cancel your membership you will lose any remaining credits on your account.
You CAN only buy more credits if you are on an annual Gold or Platinum plan and your credit balance is at zero.
A Scribd membership is much cheaper coming in at $8.99 per month for their Premium Package, but remember you do not own anything you download.
However, on Scribd, there is no limit to the number of titles you can listen to every month.
Knowing if your devices are compatible with a service is so important. You would hate to pay for a subscription and then go to try and download something just to find out it won’t work with your device.
Audible Compatible Devices
- All iOS devices
- All Android devices
- Windows phones
- Kindles (Fire, Oasis 8th & 9th Generation, Paperwhite and 8th Generation)
- Sandisk & Creative MP3 players
- VictorReader System
- BrailleNote & Apex BrailleNote
- Garmin & TomTom GPS devices
- Mac & Windows computers
Scribd Compatible Devices
- Apple devices iOS-9 or newer (this includes Apple Watches)
- Android systems that are Android 4.4 or higher
- Kindle Devices with Fire OS 4 or higher (this does not include paperwhite)
Scribd vs. Audible Summary
- Content: Audible and Scribd both offer an extensive library to their listeners, but Audible is the clear winner here because if offer basically every book (for a price). If you are determined to listen to a specific book that just hit the shelves, Audible is probably right for you. If you are looking for more than audiobooks (like magazines and research papers), then Scribd is right for you.
- Download Ownership: Audible is better if you want to keep your library for ever. Scribd works more like Netflix, once you cancel you subscription, you can no longer access the content.
- Compatibility: Both services work on most smartphones, which is what most people will use anyone. If we had to pick a winner, it would be Audible, but we doubt that's a major factor for most users.
- Price: If price is the major factor, Scribd is definitely cheaper. Like most services these days, both Scribd and Audible offer free trial periods for newcomers to test out their products.
Our suggestion is to signup and activate the complementary first-timer membership and see which one you like better! Then, once the trial period is up, you can decide which one you want to pay for moving forward.