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Audible is not your solely selection

Key Takeaways

  • Audiobooks are booming, with a $5.3 billion market in 2023, anticipated to achieve $35 billion by 2030, largely pushed by Audible and now Spotify.
  • provides DRM-free audiobooks and helps indie bookstores, whereas Everand grants entry to standard bestsellers at a terrific value, making them each interesting Audible alternate options.
  • LibriVox offers free audiobooks of public area classics and Libby offers free audiobook entry via your native libraries, ultimate for educators and budget-conscious listeners.

Audiobooks are the fastest-growing space in e book publishing, value $5.3 billion in 2023, and development over the following seven years is predicted to achieve $35 billion by 2030. The audiobook market has steadily risen as the following frontier for writers and publishing homes. What as soon as was thought to have diminished, after “books on tape” appeared out of date, has truly seen a year-over-year increase over the past 11 years, with a compounded resurgence in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whereas Audible may appear to be “the tip all be all” of audiobook apps and handy smartphone listening, it is merely the most important title; there are quite a few opponents which may higher meet your wants.

Audiobook service models differ in providing choices to both stream or buy audiobooks, further options and mediums, app interfaces, and value. I used to be a school librarian for eight years and have tried my fair proportion of expertise utilizing free, low-cost, low cost, and premium audiobook apps. Under are my favourite seven audiobook apps.


How StoryGraph works and why it’s my favorite Goodreads alternative

As a librarian, my go-to Goodreads different is StoryGraph. Here is how the e book tracker received me over with information visualizations and customized recs.


Shares income with impartial bookstores

librofm is a implausible answer for listeners on the lookout for an alternative to Audible. It provides over 450,000 titles for a membership charge of $14.99 monthly, with a portion of the membership going to an impartial bookstore of your selection, and also you get one credit score every month in the direction of a title of your selection. You may as well purchase extra credit or bundles of credit for à la carte buying too.

One in every of my favourite elements of is its audiobooks are all DRM-free. DRM-free means with out digital rights administration licenses which can be frequent on apps like Audible and Spotify, which forestall customers from truly proudly owning the media file they buy with credit. All purchases are accessible for audio file obtain.

I switched to as my app to make use of when buying audiobooks versus streaming, for 2024, and I am thrilled with the expertise. The suggestions are authentic, well timed, and pleasing to browse. I truly take pleasure in utilizing the app to search out my subsequent learn, and the listener management buttons are intuitive and accessible.


6 ways beats Audible in my book, with one exception

Audiobook followers on the lookout for a substitute for Amazon ought to think about attempting, particularly in the event you’re sick of Audible’s bloated interface.

2 Libby

Free and accessible, with the most effective search interface and collections


Libby app by Overdrive, to offer its full title, is my most used audiobook app. The Libby app is essentially the most inexpensive and handy strategy to sustain with audiobooks and check out titles you are not 100% positive you would like to purchase. Libby is a free audiobook service offered via collaborating public libraries (over 22,000 in the US) and contains each ebooks and audiobooks.

And you’ll add a number of library playing cards to at least one Libby account. For example, I’ve three library playing cards, an unimaginable free ecard for New York State residents via the New York Public Library, a card from my native county library system, and one from my native tutorial library.

That is my secret weapon to maintain up with BookTok and Bookstagram with out breaking the financial institution.

The idea is a shared digital library between library patrons curated by librarians that lets you mortgage titles for 7, 14, or 21 days after which routinely return or renew if nobody is ready for the title. Whereas Libby does have some limitations to the quantity of loans you may try directly and the variety of holds you may place on one card at a time, when you could have a number of playing cards, it isn’t an inconvenience. Current releases and bestsellers typically have ready intervals, however place a maintain and get your home in line in the event you do not thoughts ready.

The Libby app interface lets you search, kind, and filter and has a few of the greatest linked metadata of any audiobook app. The listener controls are straightforward to know, the classes, genres, and collections are enjoyable to discover. I’ve listened to a whole lot of books on the Libby app over the previous 10 years, it is my favourite place to burn via romance books and memoirs. If I find yourself loving them, I would buy the e book on one other app for repeat listens, however that is my secret weapon to maintain up with BookTok and Bookstagram with out breaking the financial institution.

If you have not checked out your native library currently, that is your signal to take action. And if it isn’t potential so that you can go to your department in particular person, examine their web site or give them a name. Libby and apps prefer it have been designed to be an extension of your bodily library, however one which by no means closes. Most public librarians could be comfortable that will help you arrange a card and stroll you thru any questions that pop-up.

Relying in your location, you may additionally or alternatively have entry to hoopla — one other audiobook app via your native library.

3 Everand (beforehand Scribd)

Consists of eBooks, sheet music, and magazines on high of audiobooks


The Everand platform accommodates over 400,000 audiobooks that you may stream and obtain to your system for offline listening for simply $11.99 monthly. This app first got here to my consideration round Could 2020, when my greatest pal and I’d spend hours individually strolling wooded trails round our homes and speaking on the telephone to remain sane in the course of the first spherical of social-distancing. After we weren’t on the telephone, she was burning via audiobooks on a brand new app, Scribd. I used to be set in my Libby and Audible alternating methods and needed to know all about it.

Scribd went via a rebranding and divided into a number of platforms final 12 months: Everand, Scribd, and SlideShare. The audiobook space is roofed by Everand. With Everand, you get entry to rather more than simply audiobooks, you will get ebooks, audiobooks, podcasts, magazines, newspapers, and even sheet music. The one limitation you may encounter is standard or bestselling titles. You could get a flag that you have listened to a quota of these on your month, however to reserve it and are available again in three, 4, 5 days, till your month refreshes.

This can be a nice center floor between of us acquainted with Audible however discover they do not care about buying titles to return to and the Libby app, as more often than not a title that you might have to attend for on Libby, shall be accessible on Everand. The app is user-friendly and has comparable listener controls trendy audiobook followers wish to see: sleep timers, pace, and chapter controls. And, a observe on its longevity, my greatest pal continues to make use of this app as her most important audiobook app, 4 years later, with no plans to alter that.

4 Spotify

Difficult Audible within the streaming wars


Final 12 months noticed Spotify Premium enter the audiobook sport and take the problem to Audible. Spotify’s catalog now contains over 200,000 titles for streaming for subscribers or 375,000 titles to buy immediately. Very similar to Audible, Spotify has come beneath hearth from creators hoping to see extra transparency about authors deals and funds. Regardless of this, in its first quarter, it skilled an enormous success, netting the No. 2 spot in audiobook providers.

Future enhancements appear to level to Spotify aiming its AI suggestion algorithms, which succeed so properly throughout the music platform, equivalent to Daylist and DJ, into its audiobook platform for a extra interactive user-friendly platform.

Spotify Premium

There are a number of ranges of membership accessible for Spotify Premium. All provide you with entry to fifteen hours of audiobook listening time, a pleasant bonus in the event you’re already paying for one of many particular person ($10.99), duo ($14.99), household ($16.99), or scholar ($5.99) month-to-month tiers.

Spotify Audiobooks

The $9.99 month-to-month subscription offers entry to fifteen hours of audiobook listening time on the ad-supported service.

You may as well purchase particular person titles from the Spotify Net Participant retailer to stream and obtain to your app system for offline listening. If you have not used Spotify for music or podcasts, the app interface is straightforward to make use of, intuitive and nice listener controls. One slight knock to its membership fashions: In the event you favor fantasy, science fiction, or historic fiction, it’s possible you’ll discover 15 hours would not get you thru a single title, as they are usually prolonged listens.

5 Chirp

Brings you the most effective offers for single purchases and bundles


Chirp is for thrifty cut price hunters, and is my favourite app and retailer for guiding dad and mom of voracious audiobook listeners. When your behavior is as costly as audiobooks, with the ability to discover titles on sale is essential. I used to fly via sequence as a teen, and if audiobooks have been as accessible as they’re now after I was 15, I’d have wanted to select up a second part-time job. Anybody on the lookout for a deal, however particularly for fogeys or teenagers with an enormous studying behavior, can discover a stable answer with Chirp.

Chirp contains complete sequence, single title, and style bundles on the lowest costs. It provides each restricted flash gross sales and deep reductions on all its supplies with its enterprise mannequin. All titles can be found for buy with out a month-to-month subscription or membership — a rarity within the audiobook app world.

Chirp is straightforward and streamlined. Simply purchase the e book you need and be finished with the method. I’ll observe, that they don’t seem to be DRM-free assured titles, compared to or LibriVox, however you may spend lots much less on a title from Chirp than in the event you have a tendency to make use of Audible and do not need to purchase one other credit score or waste a credit score on a title you are not 100% on but.

6 LibriVox

Free public area books learn by volunteers, nice for lecturers


LibriVox is the final word device for educators and anybody who enjoys classics and works within the public area. The general public area refers to supplies whose copyright has run out and are actually accessible for adaptation, launch, and manufacturing with out mental property rights hooked up.

You could recall a sure well-known mouse making headlines when Steamboat Willie entered the general public area or how we noticed the horror movie Winnie The Pooh: Blood And Honey splash throughout screens final 12 months? That is all due to the general public area and copyright.

Typically, copyright on written works will final the lifetime of the creator plus 70 years — for supplies printed after 1978 — however there are plenty of exceptions. Every year, extra titles enter the general public area. You could recall a sure well-known mouse making headlines when Steamboat Willie entered the public domain or how we noticed the horror movie Winnie The Pooh: Blood And Honey splash throughout screens final 12 months? That is all due to the general public area and copyright. The identical applies to written works, and this 12 months we noticed supplies from 1928 enter the general public area.

LibriVox is made up of free titles within the public area, tailored into audiobooks and recorded by volunteer readers. The recordings are rather well finished, particularly if you consider this can be a volunteer effort. These are particularly helpful to organizations with restricted budgets that also need to provide accessible content material in one other type apart from the written phrase. It is stuffed with basic variations that make a terrific complement to school rooms, and is a service I’ve used prior to now as a school professor and one I like to recommend to any educator.

7 Audible

Enormous catalog and plenty of membership tiers


Audible is the present king of the audiobook market, with an estimated 63% of the market share. You may seek for virtually any title and discover an audiobook model, dramatized abridged model, or spatial audio model to check out. The addition of the Audible Plus plan on high of the Audible Premium Plus opened up the app to extra streaming and one-time listening customers, just like Everand and Spotify’s fashions. Audible has customized app controls and in the event you personal the title as an eBook, WhisperSync is an superior characteristic to match up your progress throughout codecs.

I examined the Dolby Atmos titles on Audible at the beginning of the 12 months and thought they impressed and opened up a brand new strategy to take heed to tailored works specifically. Audible provides a number of tiers of membership and permits members to pause on months it would not assume they’re going to want so as to add credit too.

Audible Plus

The $7.95 month-to-month subscripton provides you limitless entry to Audible’s Plus catalog. The catalog has hundreds of audiobooks, podcasts, and Audible Originals.

Audible Premium Plus

The $14.95 month-to-month subscription contains one month-to-month credit score to purchase audiobooks and provides limitless entry to Audible’s Plus catalog. Premium Plus additionally will get you 30% off further titles bought via the Audible catalog.

Whereas cancelling is a little bit of ache and the app interface is bloated with offers and ads, it is smart that it is the most well-liked audiobook app, it is handy and was the primary mainstream membership mannequin of its form.


I tried Audible’s Dolby Atmos audiobooks to see if they sound better

Here is my expertise with the gathering up to now, plus recommendations on the way to discover and take heed to Audible’s Dolby Atmos-enabled audiobooks your self.


Q: What’s the most effective audiobook app to make use of?

Greatest would not essentially work with companies which can be so diversified and meet customers’ wants in several methods. I like to recommend you utilize a mix of the above audiobook companies to get the most effective consequence. Personally, I exploit Libby and as my most important apps. However I work in Chirp for offers, Audible (for the exclusives), and LibriVox into rotation when on the lookout for enjoyable classics for my associate’s eighth grade English class.

Spotify is my main music service, and I’ve loved the audiobooks I listened to there as a great bonus, however I possible will not use it for particular person purchases over And Everand is an exquisite app for fast entry to standard titles at a membership value that is arduous to beat, however for my functions (desire for buying), I will stick to Whichever service you select from the checklist above, you must have a great expertise.

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