Kindle Unlimited VS Audible for Audiobooks

Consuming literature has never been easier. You can read or you can listen, and the latter you can do while on the go! Today, we’ll be comparing two popular Amazon services that offer audio books — Kindle Unlimited VS Audible — and see how one fares over the other.

Should you pick Kindle Unlimited?

Kindle Unlimited is a service first introduced by Amazon in 2014. While mostly made with bookworms in mind, it also carries audio titles for those who prefer to stream their books. Kindle Unlimited initially began with over half a million titles and about 7,000 audio books, but this number quickly doubled  in a matter of two years. The library size varies per country due to limitations posed by licensing, but the number of titles for the American region alone is now over 1.5 million.

Here are some points you can consider in deciding whether paying a subscription for Kindle Unlimited is for you:

The Pros

  • You can borrow as many as 10 titles at a time, no deadlines. Kindle Unlimited is just like an online library as it allows you to borrow books. One advantage it has over your brick and mortar library though is that there are no deadlines to meet and therefore, no late return fees. You can borrow pretty much everything there is on its large database of ebooks, audio books, magazines, etc.
  • You have access to a library that is way bigger than that of Audible. On Kindle Unlimited, you can borrow more than a million titles. About 40,000 of those books have narrations, and about 2,000 are free for streaming.
  • Kindle Unlimited is one of the best ways to discover new, independent authors to love. The platform has been friendly to independent writers who are looking to publish their work, and Amazon pays them with a per page rate. This has partly caused the variety of and increase in choices offered by the service.
  • It doesn’t limit you to a single media. If you are not in the mood for streaming a book, you can always devour the title visually instead.
  • Kindle Unlimited is available on many devices. A download of the Kindle app on your mobile, tablet and PC is all it takes for you to use Kindle Unlimited. There is no need for a Kindle device unlike what one would initially assume with the service’s name.
  • The service is cheaper than Audible. A subscription will cost you $9.99 a month. Cancellations can be done anytime.

The Cons

  • Kindle Unlimited’s large library doesn’t always include new titles. You’d think it would, but books on recent best-selling lists are rarely available. If they are, there is no guarantee that these would have audio narration as well.
  • Amazon can pull out a title at any given time. There are no due dates for your borrowed books, but once Kindle Unlimited removes a title, there is really no way to get it back. Buying does not count.
  • Most books cost less than $5. Many are available for less than a dollar. In order to make the most of your subscription, you’ll often have to borrow more than 10 titles a month.
  • Quantity does not equal quality. Not all books available were submitted to an editor.
  • It’s not always good for self-published writers. Reportedly, there are restrictions applied to independent authors publishing their work elsewhere, which could limit their exposure. Kindle Unlimited might not be the best way to show support for your newfound favorites.
  • Once you cancel your subscription, you can also say goodbye to all your borrowed content. Besides your books, you also lose your highlights and bookmarks.
  • Kindle Unlimited is currently available to only a handful of countries. Unless you’re from the USA, Canada, Mexico, the UK, India, China, Japan, Germany, Italy, France or Spain, then you will have to wait (indefinitely) before the service becomes available in your country.

Is Audible better for you?

Audible has been around far longer than Kindle Unlimited has. It wasn’t even under Amazon until 2008. Founded in 1995, Audible has grown to become the largest producer of audio content, which includes books, magazines and newspapers ,among others. It now boasts of 200,000 titles, most of which are exclusive for Audible subscribers.

When you sign up, you are given credits to purchase audio titles as well as access to Audible exclusives. The number of downloadable content varies per subscription tier.

How would you know if Audible is better for you? Here are things to think about:

The Pros

  • Audible is made for the streamer. The service and its content are more focused on the needs of an audio book consumer rather than one who dabbles in more than one medium.
  • You own the titles you download from Audible.  There is no limit in the titles you have at a time because spending your credits is as good as buying the audio content. You only grow your library with each passing month. The purchases stay with you even if you end up cutting your subscription.
  • Audio titles are vetted thoroughly. There are less titles than Kindle Unlimited, but you can be assured that the experience will be topnotch — consider it quality over quantity.
  • You are likely to get more bang for your buck with Audible. Titles you accumulate in a month are often more than your subscription cost. It is not that hard to maximize your money; you are getting a bargain.
  • Exchanging your audio book is easy-peasy. If you ever regret buying a book with your credits, you can return it for another, hassle-free. Audible’s policies are not very strict in this regard.
  • Audible lets you buy titles at a discounted price. Can’t get enough of your Audibles? The service sometimes slashes 30% off the original price for your additional purchases.
  • Credits can be carried over. There’s no haste in purchasing your Audibles… you can always catch up the following month. You can even unsubscribe temporarily for a few months.
  • Audible is available worldwide. No need to wait for it if you are not in the countries mentioned for Kindle Unlimited! You can jump in on the fun wherever you are.

The Cons

  • Audible is more expensive than Kindle Unlimited. Even at its basic tier, Audible is still at least $4 more expensive than the latter. Subscriptions begin at $14.95 a month.
  • There are less titles available. It is also not ideal for those who like to consume other forms of media.

Verdict – Kindle Unlimited OR Audible ?

Audio book lovers can get more value out of Audible. Quality is better, credits are spent to buy, and the library you build stays even after canceling the service. However, we assume that many users would find an issue with the cost of Audible subscriptions and the lure of a million books from Kindle Unlimited. Customers who like to read — besides listen — would probably be more content paying for Kindle Unlimited.

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