Amazon-owned Audible is previewing a new, all-you-can-listen audiobook subscription, Audible Plus. For $7.95 a month, subscribers get access to over 68,000 hours of content and more than 11,000 titles in a range of genres, including podcasts, news, podcasts, kids, wellness, documentaries, Audible Theater, Audible Originals, and more. Audible said the new, lower-priced subscription option offers subscribers a greater selection by offering unlimited access to its library of content.
Audible Plus will begin rolling out this week to existing Audible members. Prospective customers can sign up to preview the Audible Plus standalone plan starting August 27. The new audiobook subscription tier can be downloaded for offline listening or streamed online instantly. Content can also be accessed through the Audible app, Amazon Fire tablets and across Alexa-enabled devices. In the company’s announcement, Audible said that the content catalog will grow over time, as will “technical enhancements” to the app and listening experience.
Audible Premium Plus
Audible will continue to offer a premium audiobook subscription, now called Audible Premium Plus. After a free 30-day trial, Audible Premium Plus members get one credit per month to listen to any premium selection audiobook. Prime members can listen to two premium selection audiobooks during their free trials.
Audible Premium Plus members also get unlimited access to the Audible Plus Catalog of podcasts, audiobooks, guided wellness and Audible Originals. In addition, members get exclusive daily deals and a 30% discount on additional audiobook purchases. The Audible Premium Plus membership is $14.95 a month, or $149.95 per year. There is no long-term commitment, and members can cancel at any time. Some of the audiobooks available through the audiobook subscription plan include:
- Harry Potty and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling
- Too Much, Never Enough by Mary L. Trump
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
- The Decision by Kevin Hart, an Audible Original
- Letters from Camp by Jamie Lee Curtis, an Audible Original
- The Sandman by Neil Gaiman, an Audible Original
- Escape from Virtual Island, an Audible Original
The closest competition to Audible is Scribd which charges $9.99 a month for unlimited books and audiobooks, though some restrictions apply. This is not an apples-to-apples comparison, however, since Scribd offers content beyond just audiobooks.
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As far as we can tell, the only differences between the two plans are that (1) Audible Premium Plus members can access one premium title per month using their allotted monthly credit and (2) the price. Except for the premium selections, we can’t tell if the catalogs of content vary, so this might be confusing to existing Audible members who switch to the cheaper plan. Despite the lack of clarity, we like the tiered subscription option. This may be particularly attractive to avid readers (like me) who haven’t transitioned to audiobooks yet. Having a lower price point might eliminate a barrier to entry for some prospective customers.