Audiobooks are now one of the most popular methods of listening to books.
If you are always busy or prefer being read to, then audiobooks are for you. But where can you buy audiobooks of Jane Austen or George Orwell or Margaret Atwood?
Well, luckily for you, there are plenty of audiobook services that you can use.
I use quite a few, as each one offers you exclusive deals that simply can’t be found anywhere else. So why not take your pick from some of the best providers out there?
Are there audiobooks that you can’t get from certain audiobook platforms? What deals are on offer from Audible or Scribd or Blinkist?
Well, I’m going to give you 10 of the best audiobook platforms, along with a breakdown of each one.
10 Best Audiobook Services
I’ve organized these audiobook services in no particular order, although I have started with one of the most popular, which is Audible.
However, make sure you try some of the other platforms, as I can guarantee there are deals you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.
There are a few reasons why Audible is one of the biggest audiobook services on the market right now.
One of the main reasons is the sheer number of titles that it has on offer, over 200,000 at the last count.
In its library, there is a lot to choose from. From classic novels like War and Peace to new titles from Margaret Atwood and Jojo Moyes.
It covers fiction, non-fiction, history, science, and autobiography.
The great thing about Audible is that you get 30 days completely free when you first sign up.
This allows you to decide whether Audible is the right service provider for you.
Another neat feature that Audible has is the fact that it will allow you to download and keep audiobooks even if you decide that this service isn’t for you.
I got to keep some of my favorite books, which is a great little hack if you don’t fancy signing up.
The great thing about this subscription service is that it also won’t sneakily try and take your money without prompting.
There have been many times that I have signed up for a free trial, only for the company to start charging my account.
However, Audible will tell you when it will start charging you.
There are many different types of subscriptions that Audible has to offer you.
The most common one is Audible Premiere Plus, which includes a token that will allow you to get a free book once a month.
There are many other subscriptions on offer, you just have to shop around and try a few first.
- Great subscription services.
- Over 200,000 titles that you can choose from.
- 30-day trial.
- Great refund service.
- This is one of the pricier audiobook services.
Now I’m going to move on to the less popular but much less expensive audiobook option.
You can sign up for one simple subscription and get access to over 200,000 audiobooks and over 1 million magazines and articles.
If like me, you like to peruse the newspapers online, then Scribd is a great service to sign up for, as you can gain access to most of the world’s newspapers.
If you like to get a broad range of news sources, then Scribd is also a great place to go.
This is also good news as it means that you won’t have to sign up for multiple newspapers, each of which usually has its own subscription service that could see you racking up almost $50 in monthly fees.
In the same way as Audible, Scribd also offers its users a 30-day free trial period.
If you enjoy wading through its immense library of digital books and articles for a really low price, then you might be tempted to subscribe.
There are a few drawbacks of Scribd. I am a voracious reader and Scribd does not have some of the latest titles.
This site is probably aimed more at the casual reader or someone who prefers access to the latest magazines and newspaper articles.
Another drawback is the fact that you won’t be able to keep the titles that you’ve downloaded after the trial period has ended.
This also applies to any magazines or newspapers that you like to read.
- Great subscription service.
- Low cost and a one-time monthly payment.
- Access to a vast library of titles.
- Unlimited access to some of the world’s most prestigious news outlets.
- Not as many new titles as on a website like Audible.
Now, if you are someone who likes to educate yourself, then you really can’t go wrong with this website, as it offers so many free educational titles.
This tries to help you digest all the relevant info that you need from a book in a bite-sized way.
Blinkist aims to fit reading into your life. It does this by boiling each book down into a manageable 20-minute audiobook.
This way you can get through a lot more audiobooks and, hopefully, learn way more as a result.
This is a great website to go to if you are studying or you are simply too busy to fit reading into your life.
It covers so many different subjects: from fitness to history to emotional well-being to lifestyle. If there’s something you want to learn fast, then Blinkist probably has it.
If you like an audiobook snippet and you want to learn more about it, then you can listen to the full thing.
This is a great way of sampling books before you commit to reading them because we all know how long it takes to digest a good book.
When it comes to subscriptions, you can get a vast range of literature for a lot cheaper than you would at Audible.
If you are signing up to pay on a yearly basis, then you can essentially save around 50% on the final price.
You can also have the option of listening to the 20-minute snippets without having to subscribe.
It also comes with an offline mode, which is great if you are listening to your audiobook whilst traveling without any Wi-Fi.
This comes with a slightly shorter 7-day free trial, although if you are listening to a lot more audiobooks that are shorter in length, then you’ll be able to get more done in a much shorter space of time.
This might not have some of the newest titles, but if you are more of a fan of non-fiction than fiction and you are looking to self-improve, then I would thoroughly recommend Blinkist.
- A wide array of self-improvement titles.
- Condensed versions of popular titles.
- A high degree of learning in a short space of time.
- 7-day free trial.
- If you are looking for fiction books, this one has no titles for you.
Next up, we have a website and app that is easy to use and comes with thousands of bestsellers and great non-fiction.
You can grab audiobooks and podcasts, so why not browse for some of your favorite titles on the market?
The setup of this website is much the same as Audible, giving you a subscription service and offering you credits per month upon your signing up.
However, in the case of audiobooks.com, you can get two credits per month.
The best thing about audiobook.com is that they will give you loads of free stuff when you sign up.
It offers 3 free audiobooks upon signing, as well as a 30-day trial period.
Some of these titles can be taken from the VIP section and others must be taken from the premium section.
This comes with over 8,000 free titles and while it might not have some of the more obvious bestsellers, it does have some amazing titles that you might not find anywhere else.
One thing that we really liked about the app is some of the cool features.
It has a sleep feature, which allows you to set a timer to switch off the app after a certain period.
This will help you if you are prone to nodding off when listening at night. This feature will help you to save your place!
This comes with over 150,000 titles overall, but it does not have the impressive range that websites like Audible offer their customers.
However, if you want a less expensive option with a lot more freebies, then Audiobooks.com is not a bad choice at all.
- Great sign-up deal with 3 free titles.
- 30 days free at the start.
- Great features on the Audiobooks.com app.
- An impressive library of free titles.
- Still lacks the sheer range of titles you will find at Audible.
This next service does not require you to subscribe, but rather it is a digital library that is completely free to browse and will allow you to purchase individual books that you can then download on your computer, Kindle, or phone.
The great thing about Google Play books is the fact that once you have downloaded them, then you own them forever.
This app also works with a variety of devices, whether it is your laptop, your Android phone, or your Amazon Kindle.
I would recommend this option if you were only a casual reader and like to read at a leisurely pace (maybe only getting through a few books every few months).
You can also run lots of different titles at the same time, which is great if you like to put down one book and pick up another.
There are also sporadic sales on the Google Play Books store, so make sure that you keep an eye on this library, as a particular book that you are looking for might have dropped dramatically in price.
If you are someone who goes for the bestsellers rather than the more obscure titles, then you should head straight to Google Play Books.
Once you have claimed a sought-after title, it is forever yours, you won’t have to download it again.
This might be as expansive as Audible in terms of more niche titles, but you might be able to find a discount that you wouldn’t be able to find on Audible.
- No subscription is required.
- Thousands of bestselling books.
- Each audiobook is very well-priced.
- You can purchase individual books.
- If you are an avid reader, then you should go with a subscription service.
This is another massive library of books that requires absolutely no subscription fee.
This comes with a huge collection of around 200,000 titles, so if you want the newest reads on the market, then this is the audiobook service for you.
Apple Books gives you the option of sampling the pages before you commit to buying a book.
They say that you should be able to tell a good book from the first few pages, so this feature is great.
If you are a user of Apple products, then this gives you even more of an incentive to sign up for this service.
You can get this on your Apple laptop or even your Apple iWatch.
This will allow you to listen to an audiobook while you are running, taking the kids to school in the car, or just relaxing at home at the end of a busy day.
This is great if you like to read every so often, but don’t want to commit to having to pay a fee every month.
You can find the book that you want, make a single purchase and then it’s yours to keep for as long as you want.
The great thing about using Apple Books is the fact that you can share your books across multiple devices, simply by uploading them to iCloud.
This means you won’t have to worry about packing your laptop, as you can listen on your phone!
One of the main drawbacks of using Apple Books is that you won’t be able to download your audiobook onto a non-Apple device.
- Zero subscription fee.
- Lots of titles that you can choose from.
- Download across a wide range of devices.
- Great for avid audiobook listeners.
- This will only work with Apple devices.
This next digital bookseller is one for those avid readers who like to hunt down niche titles.
This is more of an independent bookstore, which is great for anyone who likes to support their not-so-local bookstore.
But this doesn’t mean that you still can’t have access to some of the hottest titles currently adorning the shelves of all the high street booksellers.
Libro.fm comes with over 150,000 titles, so there’ll be plenty for you to choose from.
This digital bookstore uses the subscription model, but you do get one free token a month for a book of your choosing.
Also, if you are a subscriber, you can get 30% off any title, which is amazing if you like to shell out a lot on books.
This also comes with a lot of features on the app, including another sleep function that will allow you to set a timer to turn off your audiobook player if you are prone to falling asleep while you are listening.
You can even alter the speed of the narrator, which is great for the hard of hearing.
The main plus point of this service is that you can buy titles that you wouldn’t find in the high street store, as well as help support new and emerging authors.
You could be that person who helps to establish the new John Grisham or Toni Morrison.
This will also allow you to cancel your subscription at any time without incurring any additional fees.
This is great if you want to indulge in the 30-day trial that Libro.fm has to offer without having to commit to a full-time payment.
- Supports both independent and bestselling titles.
- A great place for niche titles.
- 30-day trial that you can cancel.
- Easy-to-use interface.
- This still features a limited library.
This is another new audiobook service that is great if you want to get lots of audiobooks but is working on a tight budget.
This comes with a library of around 10,000 titles, which is a pretty decent amount, even if it doesn’t rival the big players like Audible.
This has a subscription service that will allow you to choose 1 free book per month. This is a great deal for such a new digital bookseller.
This comes with a 30-day trial that you can cancel as soon as it expires.
Once you have downloaded your audiobooks, they will stay on your device, even when your free trial expires. This will be an incentive to try Kobo Books.
This comes with an easy-to-use website, although some users have reported there being some confusion between audiobooks and eBooks in the search engine on their browser.
Make sure that you check this before you buy.
Apart from that minor issue, this is a great place where you can get audiobooks a lot cheaper than you should be able to at other wholesalers.
- Affordable books.
- A decent library for a new company.
- 30-day subscription trial.
- Permanently download books of your choosing.
- The browser on the website can be confusing.
Libby is a very unique service that operates in much the same way as a library.
The app collects all of the audiobooks from libraries in the area and allows you to rent them for a certain period of time, just like you would from a physical library.
If you are looking for a lot of free audiobooks, then Libby is probably the best service for you.
This draws from a mighty pool of books from around 78 countries across the world.
If you are searching for that obscure title from Japan, Lithuania, or the United Kingdom, Libby will be your best chance of finding it.
You can listen to your audiobooks on a wide range of devices, including your phone, tablet, or web browser.
Obviously, the fact that you are merely renting this title means that you won’t be able to keep it for good.
The other plus point is that this service is completely free.
No sign-in charges, and no subscription fees, and you can download some of the world’s newest and most niche titles for absolutely nothing at all.
This is great if you are studying, and you only have a small budget for course materials.
However, if you are a casual reader who only likes to devour the most recent bestsellers, then you might have to wait until they become available, which could be a little bit longer than they would be in the store.
- Free service.
- Allows you to rent titles from across the globe.
- Can play on any tablet device.
- Both new and old titles are available.
- You can only borrow titles.
This final audiobook service offers something a little old school, delivering a physical copy of your audiobook on CD for you to listen to at your leisure.
There is still a huge market for physical CDs as not everyone has joined the digital revolution.
This is a rental service, so you will have to post the CD back to the company once you have finished listening to it.
This might not be a draw for anyone under 50, but there are plenty of senior users who prefer the simplicity of putting a CD in the player and listening to it at home or while they are out driving.
If you want to avoid all the fuss that comes with apps and downloading, then Book Lender might be a great option.
This service is another one that operates on a monthly subscription with free shipping, allowing you access to a vast library of titles.
You will be able to rent as many titles as you want, depending on which membership plan you choose.
For some users, this might be a little too outdated, but if you are a casual reader who knows they won’t be reading more than one book every few weeks, then this physical style of delivery and return is just ideal.
This company does not charge you any fees if you return a CD late, which is a great incentive for signing up for this rental service too.
The whole subscription fee is very affordable, which is great if you are looking for something low-priced.
You can choose from a vast library of around 25,000 audiobooks.
However, you’ll need to bear in mind that these are physical copies, so we would recommend only checking out a few CDs at a time.
In terms of access, you’ll be able to receive as many titles as you would on any of the above services.
You will have to wait for the delivery of some of the newer bestsellers and it might take a few days for them to reach you.
This is the only real drawback of this service; it is not that convenient for most people.
If you don’t want to wait more than a few seconds to get a new audiobook, then we would recommend that you go with one of the digital services that we’ve listed above.
- Physical copies for those who do not like digital downloads.
- A good option for senior readers.
- More durable than digital downloads.
- Offers thousands of great titles.
- Physical copies only might be a turn-off for most people.
There are plenty of things that you’ll want to consider when you are signing up for an audiobook service. Here are just a few of them:
Most of the audiobook services that we have listed above work on a subscription basis. This would probably work out as more affordable for avid readers.
However, if you are a casual reader, then you might want to opt for a single-payment purchase.
A lot of audiobook libraries are pretty extensive, with Audible boasting the largest library of over 200,000 audiobooks.
If you want bestsellers, then you’ll need to make sure that the service you are signing up for has newer titles.
There are some services that offer to distribute physical as well as digital copies.
This is great for senior users who might prefer to simply place a CD in their player and let it run all the way through.
However, a single physical audiobook will probably come with multiple CDs.
Fiction Or Nonfiction
Some of these titles specialize in nonfiction, whereas others have both fiction and nonfiction options.
If you are a reader that likes to flit between the two, then opting for a service that can deliver both is ideal.
Hopefully, this list of the 10 best audiobook services has helped you to decide which one is the best for your needs.
You’ll need to know what kind of reader you are before you sign up.
A subscription service will be better for hardcore readers, whereas if you only read once in a blue moon, then a one-time per-book payment scheme will be preferable.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Audiobooks Can I Buy?
Most of the services that we have listed above offer you the option of buying as many audiobooks as you like.
For some of the rental services, there will be a limit on the number of books you can rent at any one time.
Can I Get Bestselling Books As Audiobooks?
With the increasing demand for audiobooks, most new titles will be available on audiobook simultaneously with the physical copy of the book.
Some of the newer titles are also narrated by the author themselves.
Are Audiobooks More Expensive Than Physical Books?
This all depends on what service you are going with.
If you have a subscription and are buying a few books each month, then you will be paying a lot less for titles than you would for a physical copy.
Also, if you are opting for a rental service, then you’ll get all your books for free with the convenience of a direct download.
What Is The Difference Between Streaming And Downloading An Audiobook?
If you are streaming an audiobook, then you are playing it directly from the website or app.
This means you will not take up additional space on your device, but you will need consistent internet access.
If you download your audiobook, the file will be on your device and you can play it offline.
What Are The Most Popular Audiobook Genres?
The following genres are the most popular on most audiobook platforms: science-fiction, historical fiction, thrillers, fantasy, and young adult fiction.
What Are The Positives Of Listening To Audiobooks?
There have been studies that show listening to audiobooks is good for your mental health.
Listening to an audiobook is very relaxing and will help you to de-stress. A lot of people will listen to an audiobook to get to sleep at night.
What Are The Negatives Of Listening To Audiobooks?
It can be much easier to get distracted when you are listening to an audiobook and often if you fall asleep halfway through listening then you might lose your place.
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