Spotify launched audiobooks in late 2022, aiming to be your one-stop for all things audio. It has steep competition in Audible, a long-time favorite and one of the OGs in audiobooks. Which service is the best option?
Which Has the Bigger Catalog?
An audiobook service isn’t very useful if it doesn’t have the books you’re interested in listening to, so let’s look at catalog sizes. Who has more audiobooks to offer?
Amazon is strangely tight-lipped about how many audiobooks are available on Audible. Back in 2019, it had “more than 475,000.” More recently, Amazon only says “thousands” and “world’s largest catalog.” We can safely assume the catalog is quite large at this point.
Spotify launched with over 300,000 audiobook titles. That’s thanks in large part to its acquisition of Findaway, an audiobook distributor, in late 2021. 300,000 is a respectable number to start with, though it’s clearly not as vast as Audible’s catalog.
Subscriptions vs. On-Demand Purchases
The biggest difference between Spotify and Audible is the pricing models. Audible has subscription plans and credits, while Spotify operates with basic on-demand purchasing.
Amazon offers two Audible subscription plans: a $7.95 “Plus” plan and a $14.95 “Premium Plus” plan. Both plans include unlimited access to a rotating pool of audiobooks in the “Plus” library. The “Premium Plus” plan also includes one “credit” per month, good for any audiobook.
However, you don’t have to get one of those subscriptions to use Audible. It’s also possible to simply buy Audiobooks at their set price, just like you would with Kindle eBooks from Amazon.
Spotify, on the other hand, does not have any sort of subscription model for audiobooks. Spotify Premium subscribers don’t get any audiobook benefits. You can only buy audiobooks at their set price.
RELATED: How Do Audiobooks Work on Spotify?
Which Is Cheaper?
The pricing models are different, but what about the actual prices? Here’s where the subscription vs. on-demand differences come into play a little more.
We’ll use Stephen King’s The Gunslinger as an example. Spotify charges $15.49 for the audiobook, while Audible charges $15.22. Spotify gets the slight edge when comparing the straight-up prices.
However, let’s say you have a subscription. You might only have to pay $7.95 if it’s included in the “Plus” catalog or $14.95 if you use your one free book from the “Premium Plus” plan. Both are cheaper than Spotify’s price.
The better deal depends on your usage habits. If you listen to a lot of audiobooks, an Audible subscription is the best way to get started. Not every audiobook will be included in the free catalog, but it’s still a lot more than what Spotify offers for free. Spotify is a nice option if you’re a more casual audiobook listener that already uses Spotify.
RELATED: How to Get Started With Audible and Audiobooks
Where to Listen
Lastly, you probably want to know which devices you can use to listen to audiobooks with these two services. Thankfully, both Spotify and Audible are available on a large selection of devices.
Spotify is available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, Amazon Fire, Playstation, Xbox, smart TVs, smart speakers, and the web.
Audible is available on iPhone, iPad, Android, iTunes, Amazon Fire, Amazon Kindle, Sonos, smart speakers, and the web.
Both of these services have become among the leaders in audiobooks. There’s never been a better time to start listening. You don’t have to feel bad about ditching real books or eReaders.
RELATED: Why I Prefer an eReader to a Real Book
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