Best audiobook app and subscription: Audible vs Audiobooks vs Scribd

The best audiobook app and subscription service depends on what you're looking for. There are a few big services, but they operate differently - some take the Netflix Instant approach and offer unlimited streaming, while some offer a set number of downloads per month that are yours to keep. Making matters more interesting, some services combine audiobooks and e-books, while others focus solely on audiobooks. Read on to see how Audible vs Audiobooks vs Scribd and others compare.

The best audiobook app and subscription

Audible is probably the biggest name in audiobooks, and offers the largest selection of titles. Their plans operate like a book of the month club - you get a certain number of titles each month that you own and are yours to keep, even if you cancel your membership. The base plan is $15 for one audiobook, and they also offer a $23 plan for two books. Additional titles can be purchased for 30% off with a subscription. Titles can also be purchased a la carte without a subscription. They offer a free 1-month trial, that includes a free audiobook. operates just like Audible, but has a smaller selection. They also offer a free trial.

Scribd operates more like Netflix Instant. It is only $9 per month for unlimited audiobooks and e-books, but you don't own anything if you cancel your subscription. They seem to focus more on e-books, but do have 30,000+ audiobooks included in the subscription. They also offer a free 1-month trial.

AllYouCanBooks is another option that combines all the elements of the previous plan, for a higher price. You get unlimited e-books and audiobooks, plus the titles you download are yours to keep. They also offer a free trial that includes unlimited downloads.

Other ways to buy audiobooks

In addition to Audible, the iTunes Store and Barnes & Noble also offer audiobooks for purchase a la carte. If you just want to purchase a few audiobooks here and there this may be a better deal.

Many local libraries offer apps with e-books and audiobooks included for free. There are also free public-domain audiobooks (mostly older out of copyright) available for download.

Audible vs Audiobooks vs Scribd

The best audiobook app for you depends on your behavior. Do you want to own titles forever, go on listening binges, or just purchase a few audiobooks throughout the year? Do you want a plan that includes e-books? There are several options available for different types of listeners (and readers). Try the free trials and see what works best for you.