Best Audiobook Subscription Services in 2020

August 6, 2023 | By Stacy Porter
headphones, headset, open book

There are tons of audiobook services out there, and tons of audiobooks to choose from. If you are on the lookout for the right subscription service, this list will help you determine the best audio book service for your needs.

Our definitive ranking of the best audiobook subscription services take into account factors such as selection size, price, and special features that are exclusive to the service or what the company is known for. At the end, we will also break down exactly which services are cheapest, have the largest selection, the best mobile app, the best unlimited selection service, the best credit-based system, and which one is the best overall.

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Some of the audiobook services listed below offer other options, such as eBooks. Prices and selections vary, so you want to take all of these things into account when selecting the perfect service for you, which is what we did. Everything on our list has been broken down to help make your choice easier.

Why Choose Audiobooks?

For starters, listening is a lot easier and more convenient than reading a physical book. The sad truth of the matter is that bookstores and libraries are a dying breed, but we need not fear the loss of literature. With everything becoming increasingly reliant on technology, why should books be any different? That is where audiobooks come in.

This convenient format, and these convenient and affordable subscription services, are quickly becoming popular in the modern world. Now anyone can listen to their favorite novels on the go, without needing to cease any of their important business. In a world that is constantly in motion, it is nice to have your books with you without having to carry around the extra weight. Whether you are at work, at the gym, on public transportation, or somewhere else, you can always turn to an audiobook for entertainment.

There are so many companies out there that offer this service that it is hard to narrow down which one to choose. We want to give our money to the best audio book service that gives us everything we want at a price we can afford.

That’s where this list comes in.

From the avid listener to the new listeners, there is a service on this list that is perfect for you. We took the time to examine the features, prices, and selections of each of these brands, and then compiled this list for your benefit.

Our ranking of the top five best audiobook subscription services is in order starting with the best value, but all five options are great with their unique advantages and disadvantages. So to find out the best audiobook service 2019 has to offer, read on!

1. Scribd

Launched in 2007, Scribd makes the top of our list of best audiobook service 2019 has to offer.

Sometimes called the “Netflix of audiobook subscriptions”, this service is one of – and, in our opinion, definitively is – the best on the market. From audiobooks to eBooks to documents and more, Scribd has quite a lot to offer for an arguably small price tag.

Scribd is our top choice for a number of reasons. For starters, this service features an unlimited listening subscription, which is not an option some other audiobook subscription services have. It has amassed quite a large selection of not only audiobooks, but eBooks, magazines, and more. If you are looking for a more versatile option, such as looking into eBooks along with your audiobooks, Scribd is a fantastic choice.

Scribd hosts a wide variety of genres for their audiobooks, so you are nearly always guaranteed to find what you are looking for. Of our list of the top five services, Scribd is definitely the best value for your money. Even the app is simple and easy to use. Users of all ages and experience levels can find what they need and easily navigate their app and website.

Scribd has everything you could want and more from an audiobook subscription service. With a large selection, a variety of options (even beyond audiobooks), and the best value, this is our number one choice for 2019. They offer a free 30-day trial so you can test out their extraordinary services, which you can sign up for here!

Why Scribd?

  • Unlimited listening
  • Large selection of audiobooks, eBooks, magazines, and more
  • Wide genre variety
  • Best value for the money
  • Easy to use app
  • 30-day free trial

2. Playster

Playster is our next choice for best audiobook service 2019. They are all about evolving with the times and, in their words, “entertainment unlimited”. As with Scribd, they offer a variety of services outside of their audiobook selection, though the audiobooks are definitely their best aspect.

This brand also boasts an unlimited listening subscription, which is not always easy to find from even the best audiobook subscription services. Though their plans are more expensive than Scribd, they offer similar services and a similar selection.

Playster, like our number one choice, is not only limited to audiobooks. It is a great choice for those who enjoy a good eBook as well, and it features a decent selection of audiobooks and eBooks alike. They have a number of different plans, such as their unlimited listening option.

However, unlike some services, they offer a family plan, for the groups who all enjoy a good story. With audiobooks and eBooks for all ages, the family plan is a fantastic choice for many people.

Playster also offers an option in which you can swap audiobooks at any time, no questions asked. If you start a book and find yourself unenthused, you can use this option to find something more suited to your tastes without needing to purchase the audiobook outright. It is a great option for the indecisive or the cautious. Playster offers a 30-day free trial to test them out, so click here to sign up!

Why Playster?

  • Unlimited listening
  • Features eBooks as well as audiobooks
  • Offers a family plan along with individual plans
  • Change audiobooks at any time
  • 30-day free trial

3. Audible

By now, Audible is almost a household name when it comes to audiobooks. They have so many ads out there, from radio to television to social media influencers, that they’re kind of hard to miss. Despite their successful branding, Audible only ranks third on our list. But even though it’s not our #1 audiobook subscription service, there’s still a lot to like about it.

Audible is owned by the mega-corporation Amazon, which gives them a leg up on much of their competition. They have connections other brands might not have, like their exclusive content and the ability to provide more options for less money. While Audible is not the cheapest, they are certainly one of the most extensive services on our list.

Audible often boasts “Audible exclusives”, which is something only they have due to their notoriety. They also have the largest selection of any audiobook subscription service, which we will discuss more about later. Like its competitors, you can easily swap audiobooks at any time, which is a great option to have.

With Audible, unlike some services, you can cancel at any time without any extra fees or repercussions if you decide you are unhappy. This is great news for those who are cautious about starting an audiobook service, but want to give it a shot. Audible is also relatively cheap for all of its features, with plans starting at $14.95. While they are not the cheapest, some argue that their vast selection makes up for the price difference. To try it for yourself, sign up for your free 30-day Audible trial by clicking here!

Why Audible?

  • Largest audiobook selection
  • Popular household name
  • Audible exclusives
  • Swap audiobooks at any point
  • Cancel at any time
  • 30-day free trial

4. is another subscription service with a massive audiobook selection, and another household name. Unlike some of their competitors, they do not have unlimited listening options available, but they do allow the purchasing of extra credits for a fee. This is a great option for those who are really committed to owning their audiobooks.

Owned by RBMedia, they have access to a wide range of media, much like Audible. They boast trademark features such as Cloudmark sync and intelligent restart, both of which are unique to their brand and app. prides themselves on their versatility and their selection, and strive to make their services available on the go for users.

They have the second largest selection on this list, ranking just below Audible. They also have a super simple, super-efficient app. You can easily purchase and add titles to your collection from both the app and the website, which is not always the case with some services. The app can run on Windows, iOS, and Android devices, so practically anyone can use it. has only one subscription plan, which costs users $14.95 a month after the end of the trial period. This fee entitles users to 1 credit a month, with extra credits available for purchase if you so choose. One credit means one audiobook, so more credits means more books! It is not the most budget-friendly option on our list, but their easy app and vast selection are the trade-offs. To give a try, sign up for their free trial here!


  • Massive selection
  • Purchase extra credits with subscription
  • Second largest selection
  • Great, easy to use app
  • One subscription plan
  • 30-day free trial

5. Kobo

Kobo is another great subscription service, sitting at number five on our list of the best audio book services. As the cheapest audiobook subscription service out there, it is often the most budget-friendly option, despite it maybe not having the same selection as other services. However, for the price, you get a lot of great things without putting a hole in your funds.

Kobo was founded in 2009, with the purpose of “empowering book lovers”. They have millions of eBooks and audiobooks available. Owned by Rakuten Inc, they offer an extensive array of books in different forms, so that anyone can enjoy literature on their device, however they choose to do so.

Whether you are an occasional listener or an avid listener, Kobo is a great choice. With plans starting at only $9.99 a month, you have a whole world of audiobooks to choose from each month without making a huge dent in your monthly budget. That low cost gets you one audiobook a month, but like their competitors, they allow for the purchase of extra audiobook credits. This flexibility is great for those just getting into the world of audiobooks.

They have a few different subscription plans, each with a different number of audiobook credits available per month or per year. However you break it down, Kobo is the cheapest option, though it may not be the best value for more enthusiastic readers. Whatever you decide, just like with other options, they have a 30-day free trial that you can sign up for here!

Why Kobo?

  • Cheap
  • Variety of subscription plans
  • Audiobooks and eBooks
  • Can purchase extra credits
  • 30-day free trial

“Best Of” Categories

Now that you know all about the top five audiobook subscription services, and a little bit more about their pros and cons, here are the best options for specific needs, such as cheap plans and size of audiobook selection. These top-five services all have great components, but some have more advantages over others.

Cheapest Subscription Service

Coming in at only $9.99 per month after the end of the free trial, Kobo is the cheapest audiobook service out there and the cheapest on this list. This particular subscription gets you one audiobook per month, so for those looking for a “low commitment” option, this is the best for you, as it costs little and gives you a chance to sample audiobook subscriptions to see if it is your cup of tea.

Meanwhile, Kobo also offers higher subscription plans that are comparable in price to what you might get with a basic subscription to one of its competitors. If you are searching for a low cost, low commitment subscription, Kobo is the way to go.

Largest Selection

The largest selection of audiobooks goes to Audible by far. Audible’s database gives users access to over 200,000 audiobook titles, which is leagues ahead of its competitors. Furthermore, Audible has monthly “exclusives” available only to their members, which is due in part to its connection to Amazon. With a mega-corporation like that at its head, Audible has far more resources than any of its competitors.

Furthermore, Audible is decently priced for this massive selection, and is a well-known and reputable brand. If you are someone who knows for certain that they love audiobooks and you are looking for freedom of choice, Audible might be the best option for you.

Best App

The title of best application has to go to Their app is, by far, the most user-friendly and the most compatible with people who are consistently on the move. Their app is supported by all major smartphone systems, such as Windows, Android, and iOS. Anyone can use the app, and the app is free with your trial and subscription membership.

As with the other major brands, you can easily browse and register in-app. However, what makes this app in particular very special is the ability to purchase and download new audiobooks in-app! Most other brands do not support this feature, but for this reason in particular, has, by far, the best and most user-friendly mobile app.

Best Value

Our number one overall, Scribd, is also generally agreed to be the best value for your money. Starting at a low price and offering an unlimited listening plan, this brand is absolutely the best way to get the most out of your monthly payments.

As mentioned before, Scribd is not only limited to audiobooks. Once you are a paying member of Scribd, you also have access to a huge variety of eBooks, magazines, and various documents including sheet music. Scribd has a massive database of materials, all of which you can access with your membership. Though you cannot purchase anything to own, the variety of media alone is enough to make your monthly payment more than worth it.

Best Unlimited Listening Subscription

Of our top five competitors, both Scribd and Playster offer unlimited listening subscriptions, and both offer the ability to swap audiobooks at any given time. Both services have advantages and disadvantages even when it comes to this particular service, so it really comes down to what matters ore to you: saving some money, or having a larger selection.

Scribd is the more affordable option by half – literally. Playster is almost double the cost of Scribd in terms of their monthly membership fees. Scribd is, as you have seen, is our overall number one choice in general, and that remains true. Their unlimited listening option is perfect for the indecisive lover of literature who may want to save a couple bucks a month.

On the other hand, though it is double the price, Playster has a more extensive catalogue of audiobooks available. Both of these platforms offer unlimited listening, and while Playster will make a bigger dent in your budget, a bigger selection might make you feel like you are getting more “bang for your buck”, so to speak. So truly, in the end, it comes down to less money or more options, but either way, these two have the best unlimited listening plans on the market.

Best Credit-Based System

If Scribd and Playster are our unlimited listening options, then Audible,, and Kobo are our credit-based systems. But of these, which is the best? We know Kobo is the cheapest and we know has the best app, and Audible has the largest selection. So how to choose which of these is the best of the best when it comes to this credit-based system of audiobook listening?

The important thing to remember about credit-based systems is that, while they might sound disappointing in comparison to unlimited listening, these companies allow you to keep the audiobooks, unlike the other kind. With that being said, we have to say that Audible is far and away the best credit-based system, and here is why: selection.

If you are only issued one credit a month to download an audiobook to keep, it is safe to assume that you want more to choose from. With Audible’s massive catalogue and their exclusive options, they have the best library. Sometimes, through Amazon promotions or other avenues, you can even get a second credit each month to download another audiobook if you so choose.

While the other two, and Kobo, are also great services, if you are going to pay the price, then we can all agree that more is better. Audible’s selection puts it at the top of the credit-based systems by far.


There are lots of ways to listen to and download audiobooks. You can still do it the old-fashioned way in some places, by purchasing CDs to listen to and keep as an old relic. But with continuous advancements in technology and the increasing popularity of listening over physical reading, many brands have branched into the world of audiobooks. From iTunes to Audible to Scribd and all of the brands we have mentioned, this extensive collection grows every day.

We’re always on the move, but no one wants to lose the value of a story or the value of literature in their daily lives. This medium is a great compromise for a fast-paced world that still enjoys the wonder of escape that stories – fictional or not – can provide. Whatever genre you love, whatever age you are, there are tons of audiobooks just waiting to be discovered, and that is what truly makes any of these services more than worth it.

Whatever service you choose, we hope that our list of the top five audiobook subscription services of 2019 has made your decision easier. Choose wisely, and happy listening!

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