5 Comments

Summary:

A year after launch, Audiobooks.com is changing from an unlimited streaming audiobook offering to a subscription service that puts it in direct competition with the Amazon-owned Audible.com. Audiobooks.com says its biggest benefit over Audible is streaming — but Audible has four times as many titles.

When Audiobooks.com launched last January, the company had high hopes for a cloud-based streaming service that would let users listen to unlimited audiobooks for a monthly charge of $24.95. Unlike the Amazon-owned Audible.com, which requires users to purchase credits for access to downloadable audiobooks, Audiobooks.com presented itself as an on-the-go listening service.

A year later, though, the company is switching to a cheaper, subscription-based model that puts it in direct competition with Audible. Instead of offering unlimited audiobooks (from a catalog that started at 11,000 titles in January 2012 and has since grown to about 25,000 titles), Audiobooks.com will charge $14.95 for one audiobook a month and $22.95 for two audiobooks a month. Users can download the books or stream them. “After multiple concept tests, our findings showed that we were alienating a significant portion of the market by only offering a high-end plan,” general manager Ian Small said. And since most audiobooks are many hours long, only the heaviest users would find an unlimited plan cost-effective.

Audiobooks.com’s new model costs the same as Audible.com. For a user choosing between services, Audible’s benefits are that it offers a much larger catalog (over 100,000 titles), it allows burning to CDs and it provides a larger range of subscription plans. (For one or two books a month, Audible charges the same as Audiobooks.com.)

Small says that Audiobooks.com’s advantage over Audible is that it offers “much more mobile convenient service” — streaming, which Audible doesn’t have. As I wrote when Audiobooks.com launched last year, though, streaming may be a questionable benefit for audiobook listeners: Since a lot of people listen to audiobooks while they are in transit, a streaming service may not be reliable, and streaming audiobooks, most of which are many hours long, can also eat up a lot of data. Still, Audiobooks.com is hoping that this will be enough of a benefit that users will overlook a smaller catalog of available titles.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. As someone who listens to a lot of audio books (I have a loong commute) the idea of streaming audio books is a non-starter. Beside the obvious issue of data caps, there is the pratical aspect of the signal dropping in the middle of the book! I much prefer the audible model. I download the book and listen to it at my leisure and when done I delete it off my phone.

  2. Small says that Audiobooks.com’s advantage over Audible is that it offers “much more mobile convenient service” — streaming, which Audible doesn’t have. As I wrote when Audiobooks.com launched last year, though, streaming may be a questionable benefit for audiobook listeners: Since a lot of people listen to audiobooks while they are in transit, a streaming service may not be reliable, and streaming audiobooks, most of which are many hours long, cheap nfl jerseys,you can visit http://www.3cjerseys.com ,you can also eat up a lot of data. Still, Audiobooks.com is hoping that this will be enough of a benefit that users will overlook a smaller catalog of available titles.

  3. audibe.com over everything !

  4. Audiobook Lover Saturday, January 26, 2013

    I have an audiobooks.com account. With the apps to add to your smartphone you are able to download the book to your phone for offline listening. My issues with audiobooks and why I will not be renewing my subscription are:
    1. With the new option of credits per month the selection of books has been minimized to a select title selection for us who still have an unlimited membership. This title is very limited and while all books do not appeal to all users, the selections really don’t appeal to masses.

    2. The service offers apps, however, when you use more than one app, ie from your iPhone to your iPad or desktop computer; you are violating audiobooks.com terms of use policy which means they have a right to cancel your subscription at their discretion.

    I have since canceled my subscription and joined audible.com. It’s a win win situation for me.

  5. It seems audiobooks.com has resurrected its unlimited plan. It is now priced at $29.95.

Comments have been disabled for this post