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Is Audible Worth It? An In-Depth 2021 Review

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Getting introduced to some business books and a few self-development books was one of the best things that happened to me during college.

While struggling to review for finals, I asked myself why am I doing this? I didn’t really have a dying passion for what I was studying, I was just there to get through school.

I started learning about startups, people who built businesses online and got hooked immediately. Over the course of a few months, I started reading books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad, 0 to 1 by Peter Thiel and Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins.

This eventually led me to start my own online business, drop out of college and lose 30 lbs.

How I started using Audible

For someone who faked reading all the required readings during school, the last thing I’d ever think I’d enjoy would be reading or listening to audiobooks.

Besides a few fiction books I was a superfan of, I never got the hype behind reading. Once I started reading things that were relevant and enjoyable to me (like starting a business, losing weight, etc), I found audiobooks and reading extremely entertaining.

While working a job, going to college and trying to get my business off the ground, I quickly found I had no time to just sit and read. Besides when I’m actually going to bed, finding a quiet time during the day was almost impossible.

I came across Audible and they offered a 1 month free trial where I can listen to some of the books I wanted for free. It sounded like a no-brainer to me because I was saving $20 on buying the 2 books.

I started listening to audiobooks all the time and I was going through one every week or two weeks. I personally preferred audiobooks to physical books because it saved me time and I can process it faster than text.

An hour worth of audio can go by while I’m working out, walking between errands, etc. It’s easy to build the habit of reading with audiobooks.

Although I’m a fan of Audible, there were some things I didn’t like. I’m going to share the pros and cons I came across while using Audible and whether it’s worth it at its current price.

Is Audible worth it?

Yes, depending on your usage. If you are someone who listens to a lot of audiobooks, it’s a complete bargain. If you like to listen to an audiobook once in a blue moon, it will become another subscription on your bank statement.

Let’s go through the math to make it make sense.

Pros

Audible catalog:

Audible has an extensive catalog of free audiobooks that all users can access. The catalog is currently over 200,000 titles and includes some of the most notable audiobooks.

In addition to the catalog, Audible has podcasts and original content. This provides an Audible user with hundreds of thousands of options for audio content. The catalog for Audible is continually growing, so the value of a membership will continue to increase.

Keep unused credits:

 Many audio platforms will provide credits to a user each month. If they don’t use the credits for an audiobook, it will generally expire.

Audible allows users to keep their credits for up to a year, as long as their account is active. If you have a busy month and are unable to use your credits, you can use it the following month for two audiobooks.

Member discounts: 

Audible provides all members with up to 30% discounts on all audiobooks. This is huge savings for members that purchase many books.

If you add the credits Audible provides along with the member discounts, Audible is saving members tens of dollars each month.

Ownership:

When Audible members listen to an Audiobook, they own it forever. The Audible membership already comes with a ton of free audiobooks. The additional audiobooks a user might purchase will be theirs to keep even if they cancel their Audible account.

Cons

No physical ownership

For avid readers, one of the best parts of reading is actually holding the book, flipping the pages and keeping the book with you. Transitioning to a completely audio format for books can be difficult to adapt to.

Personally, I enjoyed the books that I could sit down and read. This would decrease my screen time and also help me fall asleep at nights. This is more of a critique of audiobooks than Audible, but it’s an important factor for people who love the activity of reading.

It’s a trade off you’ll have to make for the convenience and the number of audiobooks available on Audible. I’ve made the transition to audiobooks and I prefer it to normal books now. Just by listening to audiobooks while walking, exercising, etc, you can easily finish a book each week.

Not optimal for academics

For someone like me who’s busy with work and occasionally listens to an audiobook, Audible is a great product. Although it has many audiobooks, it’s not a great product for people who are super readers or academics.

If you’re the type of person who likes to take notes while reading, Audible is not optimal. This is because you can’t really use bookmarks and notes well within the app. Many academics like to take time to analyze and dissect content and Audible just isn’t the best platform to do so.

For casual learners, it’s a good way to be productive while doing mind-numbing tasks at work or while traveling.

Lack of sharing:

If you own a book, you can loan it out or share with friends and family members. This isn’t possible on Audible.

On platforms like Netflix, you can have a number of accounts under one subscription. On Audible, you can only have your account. You can’t have your account active on many devices.

This isn’t a huge con for most people since they are purchasing it for themselves only, but it’s something you should be aware of. Don’t share your Audible account with other people unless you don’t want to use it for some time.

Your membership will lose value without use:

If you go into your bank account right now, you will likely see a handful of subscriptions that you are too lazy to cancel. Audible will be another statistic in your bank statement if you don’t use it to listen to audiobooks.

Life gets busy at times and you can see yourself go a month or two without actually using your membership. The trick is to find entertainment in listening to audiobooks.

I started listening to Audible when I was feeling super productive. I was devouring audiobooks on self-improvement, business, etc. After a while it started to feel like work.

I mixed it up by listening to autobiographies, funny audiobooks and different types of content. This gave me the feeling of being adequately entertained while still learning. If you are not enjoying your membership, you’ll start to dislike Audible and likely ending up cancelling it.

The key is moderation. If you stick to it for a year, you’ll find that Audible is probably one of the most productive apps on your phone.

Who do I recommend Audible for?

Avid readers: Anyone who reads a lot will gain a ton of value in both money and content when they use Audible. If you are an avid reader, you might read dozens of books each year. The costs of these books can quickly add up and you can be paying close to $1,000 each year on books alone.

With Audible, you can keep your titles forever and the subscription costs a fraction of buying books. If you look at your current library of books now, there’s a good portion that’s already free for listeners on Audible.

You can listen to audiobooks offline, online and basically anywhere as long as your phone is on. Avid readers are the people who will benefit the most of out of Audible.

Podcast listeners: 

If you enjoy podcasts, you’ll love Audiobooks. Podcasts are a great way to get into long-form audio content. Anyone who listens to podcasts has built up the mental stamina to listen to someone talk for hours about a topic.

Audiobooks allow you to learn casually about a subject. Many podcast listeners would enjoy autobiographies and other compelling stories in audiobooks.

A great example of this is David Goggins’ Can’t Hurt Me. It’s an audiobook, but it also has podcast episodes in between chapters.

Self-development enthusiasts:

Anyone who’s mildly interested in improving their life will benefit greatly from Audible. When I started out, I didn’t know I’d like topics like starting businesses, losing weight, etc. It happened very gradually over a long period of time.

Picking one area of your life that you’d like to improve can be a great way to get into self-development. Once you start to gain success in one area, you’ll be drawn to learn more about how you can improve your fitness, finances, etc.

Audiobooks allow you to learn while you do the boring parts of your life. In just a few months, you can find yourself knee-deep in a new topic that improves your life.

Pricing

Audible has two plans: Audible plus and Audible premium plus. Each of these plans have different features at their respective prices. Here’s what you can expect from each plan:

Audible Plus: $7.95/month

The Audible plus membership gives you access to the entire Audible library of:

  • Originals
  • Audiobooks
  • Podcasts

There over 200,000 free audiobooks on Audible and there are thousands of different podcasts you can listen to. A vast majority of the major audiobooks are available in this membership. You can cancel at any time, so if you don’t like your free trial, you don’t have to pay a dime.

Audible Premium Plus: $14.95/month

Audible Premium Plus gives you the entire Audible library and 1 premium selection each month. This basically means you get access to everything the Audible Plus membership offers in addition to choosing any audiobook of your choice.

This means you can get any audiobook you want regardless of price for the same rate each month. If you are using this membership to get high-ticket audiobooks, it’s an absolute steal.

For example, if you use this membership to get a $50+ audiobook each month, you are saving a ton of money.

The great thing about the Premium Plus plan is that you own the titles after you use your Audible credits. Even if you decide to leave Audible, those audiobooks belong to you forever.

By being an Audible user for a period of time, you can build your own library of audiobooks that you can listen to and keep forever.

Free trial-2 free audiobooks

I hope you enjoyed this review of Audible. If you’d like to try out Audible, click here for a free trial with my affiliate link.

With this free trial, you will get:

  • Get two free audiobooks to start
  • After 30 days, get one audiobook a month for $14.95/month
  • 30% off the price of additional audiobook purchases
  • Cancel at any time and keep all of your audiobooks

Get your two free audiobooks here.

Final thoughts

I’ve been an Audible user for years. It was one of the apps that I gained a ton of value from and helped me improve tremendously in my personal life.

You can find some audiobooks on YouTube for free or other places online, but once you develop the habit of listening to audiobooks, a platform like Audible is really helpful in giving you everything in one place.

Listening to podcasts and audiobooks helped introduce me to making money online. Since then, I’ve started freelance writing and blogging. I like to share my progress on this blog, you can check out my last income report here.

If you’ve used Audible, feel free to leave some comments on your experiences. Also, if you know a better app or platform, list that too. Any audiobook/book recommendations are always welcome.

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