Subscription-based audiobook apps are a mix of ‘all you can eat’ buffets (allowing you unlimited access to their books for a flat monthly fee) and ‘credit per month’ deals (limiting your monthly borrowing).
This Amazon-owned service dominates the audiobook space — and for good reason. With an Audible subscription, you can get your hands on virtually any title you can think of, plus their originals and exclusives! Their book recommendation algorithm is top-tier, suggesting titles based on your listening history, and they also have tiered monthly options to choose from – Audible Plus and Audible Premium Plus.
Moreover, Audible lets you keep your titles forever, unlike many other apps that simply give you access to audiobooks while your subscription is running.
There is a 30-day Free Trial right now**
Audible Plus — $7.95 per month** (unlimited access to Plus catalog)
Audible Premium Plus — $14.95 per month** (unlimited access to the Plus catalog and 1 credit for any book in the full catalog)
**Prices are subject to change periodically
If you’re looking to combine your audiobook listening with ebooks, podcasts, and news publications like The New York Times, Scribd might be the app for you. Their massive library includes a healthy balance of traditionally published books, TikTok bestsellers, and Scribd Originals.
Scribd also runs an affiliate program, which entitles listeners to one free month for every friend you invite, and gives your friend a two-month trial (instead of the regular 30 days).
With Scribd, you’re essentially streaming the books, meaning you don’t own them forever, and can only access a limited number of titles per billing month, depending on your region.
Subscription: $11.99/month (access to a limited number of titles)
3. Kobo Books
Best known as an ebook retailer, Kobo Books also offers audiobooks on their platform. The ‘Kobo Plus Listen’ plan works out cheaper than Audible Premium Plus. The app also does a good job organizing your purchased books, and their in-app statistics are brilliant for data-obsessed readers, giving a detailed insight into your reading habits while suggesting new recommended titles based on your history.
Kobo Plus Listen — $9.99 per month (unlimited access to all audiobooks)
Kobo Plus Read and Listen — $12.99 per month (unlimited access to all audiobooks and ebooks)
More than an audiobook app, Blinkist could be considered a learning app — and a very good one at that! Specializing in non-fiction, Blinkist provides quick, 15-minute summaries that break down key ideas from more than 5,500 nonfiction books and podcasts.
A downside worth noting is that their summaries, while information-packed, are dense with facts. Not everyone might like just an overview of the book. For those who believe the devil is in the details, you could potentially access the entire audiobook for the same price on another app.
Yearly plan— $8.34 per month (unlimited access to all blinks)
Monthly plan — $15.99/month (unlimited access to all blinks)
5. Barnes and Noble’s Nook
The Barnes and Noble’s Nook app has over 3.6 million ebooks, digital comics, newspapers and magazines, not to mention audiobooks — some of which are completely free. After the 30-day free trial, the subscription gives you access to one monthly credit, which can be used to redeem any audiobook from their library. Membership also gives you access to several of their books at a discounted rate, and you get one free audiobook on signing up.
Subscription: Yearly plan — $14.99 per month (one credit)
6. Realm FM
A slightly different take on the audiobook app, Realm FM offers immersive series and podcast experiences that are exclusively created for its platform. And while you can listen to a lot of the app’s content for free, a paid membership removes ads and gives you access to other exclusive deals. The disadvantage is that none of the mainstream audiobook content you’re looking for can be found here.
Yearly plan — $29.99 per year (unlimited access)
Monthly plan — $3.99/month (unlimited access)
Created based on actual feedback from audiobook listeners, Bookmobile focuses on enhancing the audiobook user experience. The app doesn’t host any of its own content, but instead allows you to access and play content from several different sources — iTunes, Audible, LibriVox, public mp3 downloads, RSS feeds, Dropbox, etc. — and has been designed to avoid sliders and other distracting controls, allowing you to play/pause, skip forward or backward and create bookmarks easily.
After the free trial, which gives you up to 5 audiobooks for 60 days, you can subscribe and listen to unlimited audiobooks every month.
Subscription: Monthly plan — $3.99/month (unlimited access)
8. Smart Audiobook Player
Another audiobook app that doesn’t offer any in-house content is Smart Audiobook Player. It allows you to upload your own audio files, and then takes care of the rest for you! This may not be the best option if you’re looking to access mainstream audiobooks or new releases.
Subscription: Monthly plan — $1.99/month (unlimited access)
With over 120,000 audiobook titles across various genres to choose from, eStories starts off with a tempting half-price offer for your first 3 months and then switches to a higher-priced subscription.
Next comes Downpour. This app has an impressive (and ever-expanding) collection — spanning fiction, non-fiction, classics, and contemporaries. What sets Downpour apart is their budget-friendly rental option. This allows you to rent audiobooks for a discounted price, separate from your monthly credit. They have a 30-day and a 60-day renting option, and you can further extend this at a minimal cost. Moreover, on signing up, you get a free audiobook (though you cannot choose which book this is).
Subscription: Monthly plan – 12.99 per month (1 credit)