Which audiobook service should you use

Audiobooks can save you a lot of time. You can listen to, or even quickly listen to, entire books without ever turning a single page. This means that you can engage in other tasks while listening to your favorite authors. Two of the biggest names in the world of audiobook services are Audible and Scribd. Although Amazon owns Audible, it certainly offers a wide variety of exclusive audiobooks. Scribd, on the other hand, is very popular for things other than audiobooks. It makes you wonder which one they should subscribe to.


Audible vs. Scribd

Both services have their advantages and disadvantages and choosing one over the other can be difficult. We have used both audiobook platforms and can share information based on our experiences. Here’s everything we’ve learned about using Audible and Scribd that you need to know before subscribing.

Let’s start.

1. Variety of content

Scribd offers a variety of content that sets it apart from Audible to establish its niche. Audible is an audiobook platform and you will mostly find audio versions of the books. Scribd offers content in a variety of formats. You’ll find eBooks, audiobooks, podcasts, magazines, and even handouts and slides. The latter is a recent addition, thanks to the acquisition of SlideShare from LinkedIn.

Audible vs Scribd 1

Audible vs Scribd 1

You will find all kinds of documents on SlideShare such as models, academic articles and even court documents. Then there is the score. Ever wanted to play that popular song on your guitar or piano? Sheet Music provides vocals and musical notes for some of the world’s greatest artists.

Audible vs. Scribd 2

Audible vs. Scribd 2

Finally, I just want to draw your attention to the snapshots. A concept popularized by Blinkist, the in-house team at Scribd, will read / listen to books and create a summary for you. A fast way to get key information without the fluff. Nothing beats reading a book and that smell of paper is a different experience.

Scribd has all the content in every imaginable format that you can consume. There is something for everyone and while it can be overwhelming, I love having options. I like snapshots because they give me a sense of what to expect from the book, save time, and increase retention. It’s also a great way to re-read the same book.

2. Content availability

Scribd may be leading the race with a variety of content, but it’s Audible that takes the lead when it comes to popular book titles. Audible does one thing and is good at it. Audiobooks. They have a larger library than Scribd and some of the titles available on Audible, you won’t find them on Scribd or anywhere else.

Audible vs. Scribd 3

Audible vs. Scribd 3

For example, The Outsiders by William Thorndike is not available on Scribd.

Audible vs. Scribd 4

Audible vs. Scribd 4

That’s not to say Scribd’s collection is less so. It’s just that Amazon offers a larger database, thanks to contributions from the Kindle platform. Amazon has created an ecosystem for writers and readers with products such as Kindle eReaders tablets and applications and services such as Kindle Direct Publishing.

You will find the most popular titles on Audible and Scribd. Some freelance writers publish their content exclusively on the Kindle platform, but that’s another story. There is a similar program for Audible called Audible Originals. These titles are not available on any other platform.

Here’s a personal preference test you can take part in: Research a book or author whose work you’d like to enjoy. Based on the results, you will get an idea of ​​where each audiobook platform is located for your usage and habits.

3. Interface

Let’s start with the smartphone interface, because this is where most people listen to audiobooks. The idea behind audiobooks is that they allow you to be productive and do other things while listening to books.

Audible’s interface is correct. Nothing fancy but works great. I guess the UI doesn’t really matter because once you pick an audiobook you won’t be looking at the screen anyway.

Audible vs. Scribd 5

Audible vs. Scribd 5
Audible vs. Scribd 6

Audible vs. Scribd 6

The options are pretty self-explanatory. Wish list for audiobooks you want to read in the future and categories to find new titles based on interests. The News tab will simply take you to Audible’s social media profiles. Settings are important. You can control the download method and quality, notifications and how chapters are read here.

Audible vs. Scribd 7

Audible vs. Scribd 7
Audible vs. Scribd 8

Audible vs. Scribd 8

Scribd takes a slightly different approach and I like the user interface better. It’s clean. There is a top bar where you can choose the type of content you want to consume. The bottom bar indicates how you will sort the chosen content type. The categories can be found under the Search tab.

Audible vs Scribd 9

Audible vs Scribd 9
Audible vs. Scribd 10

Audible vs. Scribd 10

A small but notable difference is the ability to create lists in Scribd. Audible has a single list where all audiobooks are hosted. Scribd not only allows you to create different lists, but also Notebook sections where all notes, bookmarks, annotations and highlighted sections are stored. On the other hand, you cannot control the download method and quality and we will understand why in the next point.

Audible vs. Scribd 11

Audible vs. Scribd 11
Audible vs. Scribd 12

Audible vs. Scribd 12

If that matters, Audible comes with a widget, but Scribd doesn’t.

4. Sound quality

You’ve probably figured it out by now, but for those who haven’t, Audible content clearly has better sound quality. Audible’s default (Standard) quality is 32 kbps and High quality is 64 kbps.

The reason Scribd doesn’t offer any way to customize downloads is that there is only one quality and that is 32kbps. In Scribd’s defense, this is acceptable because it is not the music we listen to. The sound / voice should be clear and audible, which it is. It just doesn’t live up to the expectations we have, thanks to Audible.

5. Price and platform

Audible and Scribd are available on the web and have mobile apps for Android and iOS. Audible also works with Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant.

As for the cost, Audible is expensive. It comes with a monthly plan of $ 14.95 which gives you credit. Each credit can be redeemed once for an audiobook. You get two audible originals, but they’re not that good at the moment. The Platinum plan costs $ 22.95 and offers two credits. After that, each additional credit will cost you $ 14.

Audible vs. Scribd 13

Audible vs. Scribd 13

Scribd has a one-time plan that will cost you $ 8.99 per month. Under this plan, you get one audiobook every month and unlimited e-books as well as content in other formats (with an asterisk) for that price, which isn’t bad. Note that if you are a prolific reader, Scribd may prevent you from consuming more or certain content at its sole discretion (read point 3 for more details). Basically, you pay less and read more, which causes Scribd to lose money and they won’t, for obvious reasons.

Note that in Audible, you buy and don’t rent books, which means you own them even after you cancel the subscription. Scribd works like Spotify where you can listen to songs as long as you subscribe but don’t own them.

Can you hear me

Audible definitely has a better collection and it will make a difference for prolific audiobook listeners. I know people who have subscribed to both services. It all depends on how many audiobooks you listen to each month and your interest in other content formats. If you are, Scribd is a solid option because it’s cheaper and offers a lot more options. Otherwise, you will find the Audible collection fulfilling.

Then:

Want to try Audible? Click the link below to learn all about Audible in our comprehensive guide.

Last updated on August 22, 2020

The above article may contain affiliate links that help support Guiding Tech. However, this does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains impartial and authentic.

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