Audiobooks are a great way to enjoy books without having to read them the old-fashioned way. They’re perfect for busy people who still want to “read” while doing other things, like driving or cooking. If you’ve got an Android or iOS device, there are lots of apps out there that let you listen to audiobooks, but it can be hard to know which one to choose.
In this article, you will learn:
- The best audiobook apps you can get on your phone.
- How much these apps might cost you.
- Cool things these apps can do that make them stand out.
Let’s dive in and find the perfect audiobook app for you, so you can start listening to your next great book right away.
Amazing Audiobook Apps Market Statistics That’ll Amaze You
- Audible reports “tens of thousands” of Indian listeners using its US platform, indicating global reach.
- Publishers’ revenue from audiobooks jumped 32.1%, showing market strength.
- Most audiobook listeners (57%) are under 45, pointing to a younger demographic.
- The sector could outpace overall media growth, with a 25-30% increase expected.
- Over half of listeners (56%) find new times to enjoy audiobooks, consuming more content.
10+ Best Audiobook Apps in 2024
- Amazon Kindle
- Barnes & Noble NOOK
- Google Play Books
- hoopla Digital
- Kobo Books
- LibriVox Audio Books
- Smart AudioBook Player
- Storytel: Audiobooks & ebooks
These audiobooks are a great alternative for those who find reading a little too involved. Lets explore it in detail!
1) Amazon Kindle: Your Gateway to Audiobooks and E-books
The Amazon Kindle app is a powerhouse not just for ebook lovers but also for audiobook enthusiasts. It uniquely blends the convenience of e-reading with the immersive experience of audiobooks. Whether you’re on a long commute or doing household chores, Kindle allows you to switch effortlessly between reading and listening, making sure your story never has to pause
With Kindle, the pricing structure is flexible. While the app itself is free, audiobook prices vary. Some audiobooks are available for free, particularly to users with Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited subscriptions. For others, you might need to make a purchase, with prices depending on the specific title. Amazon often runs deals, so keep an eye out for discounts on your favorite audiobooks.
- WhisperSync Technology: Seamlessly switch between reading the ebook version and listening to the audiobook without losing your place.
- Massive Library: Access to thousands of audiobooks across various genres and categories.
- Multi-Device Synchronization: Start listening on one device and pick up where you left off on another, ensuring a fluid listening experience.
As of 2021, there are more than 30 million active Kindle users in the United States alone. The number of Kindle devices sold globally is estimated to be around 150 million.
Despite its advantages, Kindle’s audiobook selection might not cover every title you’re searching for, and purchasing individual audiobooks can become expensive. Additionally, the integration between audiobook and ebook could be smoother for some titles, affecting the overall user experience.
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2) Audible: The Premier Destination for Audiobook Aficionados
Audible stands out as the go-to platform for audiobook lovers, offering an unrivaled selection of audiobooks, exclusive content, and original series. Owned by Amazon, Audible provides a rich listening experience with professional narration and high-quality audio.
Audible operates on a subscription basis, where users pay a monthly fee to receive credits, which can be exchanged for audiobooks. The standard plan gives you one credit per month, but you can purchase additional credits or upgrade to a higher plan for more credits and benefits. Prices for additional purchases vary, and members have access to exclusive sales and discounts.
- Exclusive Titles and Originals: Audible offers a range of titles and series you won’t find anywhere else.
- Permanent Library: Audiobooks purchased with credits are yours to keep, even if you cancel your subscription.
- Easy Exchanges: Not happy with an audiobook? Swap it for another, no questions asked.
Audible stands as a leader in the audiobook publishing sector in the United States, commanding a 63.4% market share.
The subscription model means a recurring monthly payment, which might not suit everyone’s budget. For avid listeners, the cost of additional credits can add up, making it a potentially expensive option for consuming audiobooks.
3) Audiobooks.com: A Versatile Platform for Book Lovers
Audiobooks.com is a strong competitor in the audiobook market, offering a wide selection of titles across various genres. It provides a user-friendly experience, allowing listeners to access their audiobooks on any device, anywhere, anytime.
Like Audible, Audiobooks.com uses a subscription model where users pay a monthly fee to receive a credit, redeemable for any audiobook in their library. The platform also offers special deals and discounts to subscribers, adding value to the monthly subscription.
- Extensive Selection: Over 125,000 titles, including new releases and bestsellers.
- Flexible Listening: Stream audiobooks online or download them for offline listening.
- VIP Rewards: Subscribers get access to free books and exclusive content.
Audiobooks are up 29.5% in net revenue over 2016 according to the Association of American Publishers and up 22.7% in unit sales over 2016 by the Audio Publishers Association’s estimate.
The primary limitation of Audiobooks.com is the subscription model, which provides only one credit per month. This may not suffice for voracious audiobook listeners who consume multiple books within a month.
4) Barnes & Noble NOOK: More Than Just Books
NOOK by Barnes & Noble is not only for reading ebooks but also a great spot for audiobook fans. It gives you a mix of free and paid audiobooks, making it easy to switch between reading and listening. If you love having lots of choices, NOOK might be right up your alley.
NOOK offers both free and paid audiobooks. The price for paid ones varies, so you can choose based on what fits your budget. Sometimes, they have sales where you can grab audiobooks for a bargain.
- Free and Paid Options: A mix of both to suit any budget.
- Large Selection: Thousands of audiobooks in different genres.
- Easy to Use: Simple for anyone to start listening right away.
In 2019, the book retailer’s revenue from the sales of the NOOK e-reader amounted to $92.14 million in the United States.
One downside is that some audiobooks can be pricey. Also, the app is mainly known for ebooks, so its audiobook features might not be as advanced as some other apps dedicated only to audiobooks.
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5) Google Play Books: Your Android Audiobook Hub
Google Play Books is a favorite for Android users but it’s also great for anyone with a smartphone. It offers a wide range of audiobooks and lets you listen to them without needing a subscription. If you like flexibility and hate monthly fees, this could be your go-to.
No subscription needed here! You just pay for the audiobooks you want to listen to. Prices vary, but Google Play often has deals and discounts to help save some cash.
- Pay-As-You-Go: Buy only the books you want.
- Huge Library: Tons of titles to choose from.
- Listen on Any Device: Use it on your phone, tablet, or computer.
As of the latest data, Google Play Books has surpassed 100 crore (1 billion) downloads.
While you have a lot of freedom, buying books individually might end up costing more if you listen to a lot of audiobooks. Also, the app focuses on both ebooks and audiobooks, which might make it less specialized compared to apps that focus only on audiobooks.
6) hoopla Digital: Free Audiobooks from Your Library
hoopla Digital lets you borrow audiobooks for free with your library card. If you’re on a tight budget and love your local library, hoopla makes it easy to take audiobooks with you on the go, without spending a dime.
It’s free! All you need is a library card from a participating library. There’s no catch or hidden fees, making it a budget-friendly option for everyone.
- Borrow for Free: Use your library card to get audiobooks at no cost.
- No Waiting: Instant access to titles without waiting lists.
- Wide Range: Lots of books in different genres to explore.
Hoopla Digital has experienced significant growth since its launch out of beta in July 2013, amassing over 1 million users. This statistic highlights the platform’s rapid user base expansion, indicating a strong market adoption and interest in its digital offerings.
The selection depends on your library’s inventory, so you might not find every audiobook you’re looking for. Also, there’s a limit on how many books you can borrow each month.
7) Kobo Books: A Reader and Listener’s Paradise
Kobo Books is not just for people who love to read ebooks; it’s also perfect for anyone who enjoys listening to audiobooks. With Kobo, you can easily find your next favorite story and decide whether you want to read it or listen to it. It’s super simple to switch from an ebook to an audiobook, making your reading experience flexible.
Kobo offers a mix of free and paid audiobooks. You can buy audiobooks one at a time, or you can join their subscription service to get one audiobook each month for a set fee. This is great if you listen to audiobooks regularly because it can save you money.
- Choose How to Enjoy Your Book: Read or listen—whatever you like.
- Find Any Book: Huge selection of audiobooks in every genre.
- Save Money: Subscription service helps you save on regular listening.
In the realm of e-book sales on Kobo, independent (Indie) self-publishers account for 20% of the total sales. This statistic highlights the significant contribution of self-published authors to the e-book market on this platform.
If you listen to a lot of audiobooks every month, you might need to buy more than your subscription covers. Also, the app has so many options, it can be a bit overwhelming to choose.
8) LibriVox Audio Books: Free Classics and More
LibriVox is a cool app if you like classic books and don’t want to spend any money. Volunteers from all over the world read these books, so you can listen to them for free. It’s like having a library of classic audiobooks in your pocket.
It’s completely free. No catch. You can listen to as many books as you want without paying anything.
- All Free: Enjoy classic books without spending money.
- Volunteer Readers: Hear books read by people from around the globe.
- Lots of Choices: Thousands of classics to choose from.
Around 45% of Americans have listened to an audiobook as of 2022, a slight drop from 46% recorded in 2021.
The books are mostly older classics, so you might not find new releases. Also, since the readers are volunteers, the audio quality can vary from book to book.
9) OverDrive: Borrow eBooks and Audiobooks for Free
OverDrive lets you borrow both ebooks and audiobooks from your local library for free. If you have a library card, you can start borrowing right away. It’s a great way to enjoy books without having to pay for them.
Free! All you need is a library card from a library that uses OverDrive.
- Use Your Library Card: Free access to lots of audiobooks.
- Easy to Borrow: Get books on your device without leaving home.
- No Late Fees: Books are automatically returned when your loan ends.
OverDrive Users Borrowed 662 Million Ebooks, Audiobooks and Digital Magazines During 2023; 19% Increase Over 2022
The selection depends on what your library offers. Sometimes you might have to wait for popular books if someone else is borrowing them.
10) Scribd: The Unlimited Reading and Listening Platform
Scribd is like a magic bookshelf that has everything – audiobooks, ebooks, magazines, and more. You can listen to tons of audiobooks or read as much as you want for a single monthly fee. It’s perfect for folks who love to explore different kinds of stories and topics.
Scribd charges a monthly subscription, but for that, you get unlimited access to their library. It’s a great deal if you’re someone who goes through lots of books and audiobooks every month.
- Read and Listen All You Want: Unlimited access to audiobooks and more.
- Lots to Choose From: Audiobooks, ebooks, magazines, and even sheet music.
- One Price: One monthly fee for everything on Scribd.
In 2022, Scribd reported having 200 million unique monthly visitors.
Not every book in the world is on Scribd, so sometimes you might not find what you’re looking for. Also, in some countries, Scribd’s selection might be limited.
11) Smart AudioBook Player: Tailored for Audiobook Enthusiasts
Smart AudioBook Player is made just for listening to audiobooks. It’s not about buying books; it’s about enjoying the audiobooks you already have. If you have a collection of audiobooks and want a simple, powerful way to listen to them, this app is for you.
The app is free to try, but there’s a small one-time fee if you want to unlock all the features. This fee is worth it if you listen to audiobooks a lot because it makes listening so much easier.
- Made for Audiobooks: It has special features just for audiobook listening.
- Control Speed: Speed up or slow down the narration to fit your preference.
- Bookmarking: Save your place so you can come back to it anytime.
The Smart AudioBook Player Market size is expected to develop revenue and exponential market growth at a remarkable CAGR during the forecast period from 2023-2030.
This app doesn’t sell audiobooks. It’s for listening to audiobooks you already own, so you need to get them from somewhere else.
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12) Storytel: Audiobooks & Ebooks in One App
Storytel is like having a bookstore in your pocket that’s open all the time. You can listen to audiobooks and read ebooks with just one subscription. It’s great for people who love stories, no matter how they like to enjoy them.
Storytel also uses a subscription model, giving you unlimited access to their library for a monthly fee. If you love having lots of options and don’t want to worry about buying books one by one, Storytel is a good choice.
- Unlimited Listening and Reading: Enjoy as many books as you want.
- Wide Range of Titles: Find both audiobooks and ebooks in many languages.
- Personal Recommendations: Get book suggestions based on what you like.
The current global market value for audiobooks stands at SEK 40 billion. Storytel projects that this market will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% through to the year 2030.
The availability of books can vary depending on where you are in the world. Also, because it’s a subscription, you need to keep paying to access the books.
Comprehensive Comparison of Popular Audiobook Apps for Android and iOS
|Free Trial Available
|WhisperSync, Huge Library, Multi-Device Sync
|Varies by book
|Exclusive Titles, Keep Books Forever, Easy Exchanges
|Starts at $14.95/month
|125,000 Titles, New Releases, Offline Listening
|Barnes & Noble NOOK
|Large Selection, Free and Paid Options, Easy to Use
|Varies by book
|Google Play Books
|Huge Library, No Subscription Required, Multi-Device
|Varies by book
|Borrow Free, No Waiting, Wide Range
|Free with library card
|Huge Selection, Read or Listen, Subscription Savings
|Starts at $9.99/month
|LibriVox Audio Books
|All Free, Volunteer Readers, Thousands of Classics
|Use Library Card, Easy Borrowing, No Late Fees
|Free with library card
|Unlimited Access, Diverse Content, One Price
|Smart AudioBook Player
|No (One-time fee)
|Designed for Audiobooks, Playback Speed Control, Bookmarking
|Free, Full version requires a one-time fee
|Unlimited Access, Audiobooks and Ebooks, Recommendations
|Starts at $14.99/month
Each of these apps offers something special for everyone, from unlimited access to books and audiobooks to specialized features for audiobook enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking to save money, access a huge library, or listen to audiobooks you already own, there’s an app here that can help. If you have any questions or need more information, just let me know!