As my readers know, audiobooks are one of my favorite things. It’s one of the ways that I’ve been able to finish at least a book per week to better my life.
Late last year, Audible, one of the main apps I use for audiobooks, silently released an amazing update. For years, I’ve been thinking why audiobook services don’t have a Nettflix model that allows the subscriber to listen to as many audiobooks in the library as long as you’re subscribed. Instead, we have to pay for just one audiobook per month. That’s now changed (somewhat).
Now, I’m sure there’s differences in the economics and business model that I don’t understand, which is why they haven’t done this sooner. And publishing a book may be different from launching a TV show or movie. Plus, people aren’t able to binge through books like they do television shows.
But over the last couple months, I have noticed that Audible has added a bunch of free, well-known books to subscribers’ libraries that are actually great reads. I’ve taken some screenshots of the best ones in the photos below. Some of them are things that I was planning on buying later on anyways. Two of the most recent free audiobooks have finished from this collection include If I Did It by O.J. Simpson and Neil Degrasse Tyson’s Death by Blackhole.
This update still feels like the early years of Netflix. At first, it looks like there’s a never-ending pile of gold. But after you sift through the dozen or so good titles in each category, the rest of the books are trash. Nonetheless, this is a very exciting update. I think the books that I have found worth reading will keep me occupied for at least several months. And if it’s anything like Netflix, the library will continue to improve and add excellent stuff.
It is not completely “free” in the sense that you still have to have an Audible subscription to see all these other books. But it is still a big value jump in the sense that your purchase is no longer for that one audiobook you get per month anymore.
Audible has updated its plan to offer two choices instead of one. For $8 a month (called Audible Plus), you can get unlimited access to this library.
For $15 a month (called Audible Premium Plus), you get access to to the library and one credit per month to purchase any audiobook of your choice from Amazon (this library is bigger and offers basically every audiobook title that’s been recorded).
The more expensive option still seems like the better choice since they still need to flesh out the library. However, the cheaper option could be a good fit if you’ve been eyeing a book that’s in their library.
A great way to test it out is their 30-day free trial. It’s a great way of getting an audiobook for free and seeing what it’s like.
I hope they invest in obtaining more and more high quality, well-known nonfiction books to add to their library. I don’t think investing in Audible Originals, like Netflix originals, will bear as much fruit. I could be totally wrong given how successful Netflix Originals are, but usually, when I’m reading a book, I have a specific author or topic already in mind. Of the several Audible Originals I’ve finished, the best ones were moderately entertaining at best. I felt like I was going through them just to go through them and squeeze as much value out of my purchase. The payoff hasn’t been up to par so I’ve honestly stopped listening to Originals, but I will check in from time to time just to see what they have and if they’ve improved.
I encourage you to check out this library of free additional audiobooks in Audible on your own. By the time you read this, they probably added a lot more good audiobooks that will catch your eye.
And if you’re interested in trying out Audible, please go through my links. I get a small commission at no extra cost to you if you sign up for a free trial or purchase through my link.