When it comes to audiobooks there are two main services bloggers and readers talk about a lot, Audible and Scribd. I’ve personally had an Audible subscription since 2013 which I’ve been relatively happy with but I’ve recently decided to give Scribd a try.
There are obvious differences between the two services, both positive and negative, and I thought I’d run through them, undoubtedly helping me decide which to use long term as I can’t justify using both.
- once you’ve bought an audiobook it is yours to keep even if you cancel the membership/subscription
- you can sample a book before buying (a necessary function if like me, you are very picky about narrators)
- it has arguably the largest library of audiobooks
- you can also access original podcasts and recordings
- can return books within and up to a year of purchase
- the returns policy is dodgy, and not very respectful to authors
- if you want more books than your credit allows, it gets a little pricey
- The extensive library is not always the same from country to country. There are actually fewer books on Audible UK than there are US for example.
- unlimited access to audiobooks, books, magazines, documents, sheet music
- available across many devices and formats
- a lower price for more books compared to Audible (Monthly membership is £9.99p/m, yearly £7.08p/m)
- It has a less extensive audiobook library. You might not always find the book you want.
- It is not always unlimited. Sometimes books are unavailable or hidden when you hit a certain quota of books listened to in a month.
Scribd is the audiobook service I wish my own library could provide – access to many audiobooks when I want without the need to purchase them for my own collection. I feel the freedom in being able to listen to a book and know that if I don’t like it or it’s not the right format for me, I’ve not wasted a credit or money. I’m also not an avid listener so the ‘limit’ it sets if you listen to a high number of audiobooks per month is probably not going to affect me at all.
Audible says you can return a book but with what has come out over the last few months regarding author royalties, it is rather crap. I don’t want to support that so Scribd will be the place to go. And if I did want to purchase an audiobook I’ll see if it is available on Google Play or iBooks as I’ve used them both in the past too.
And if I’m going to be brutally honest, I think Audible is rather biased on the books it promotes, especially in its 2 for 1 sales. The last few times I’ve tried to take advantage of this, especially for Middle Grade and YA, there is a significantly smaller selection available compared to all the other categories. Yes, some do find their way into Literature and Fiction, and Sci-Fi and Fantasy, but there is one page of maybe a maximum of 8 – 10 books, and other categories have 40 + books to choose from. To me it comes across as being rather unbalanced, and it doesn’t give me good vibes at all.
The only thing is, Audible is the only platform I can freely access on every device and where I can get future Chronicles of St Mary’s audiobooks. But it can be used for that only and to just listen to books in my personal library. I don’t have to rely on it for every audiobook.
I think where I’m going with this, is that for me, it will be Scribd over Audible. It’s plain to see why the latter is so popular and why I liked it in the beginning, but it isn’t for me anymore and that’s okay.
If you listen to audiobooks, which is your preferred service?
Thanks for reading my ramble and have a brazzle dazzle day!