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Scribd Vs. Audible - The Two Audiobook Giants Compared (2022)

By James LePage
 on March 28, 2022

Scribd Vs. Audible - The Two Audiobook Giants Compared (2022)

By James LePage
 on March 28, 2022

If you are a lover of books or just enjoy listening to podcasts and books to help pass the time, you have likely heard of either Scribd or Audible by now. Both Scribd and Audible are similar in that they both deliver streaming solutions for those seeking new books, podcasts, or even research studies and sheet music. 

While Audible was released by Don Katz in 1995, it has since met its match with Scribd, a more recent contender that was developed and launched in 2007 by Trip Adler out of San Francisco, California. Although both Audible and Scribd offer the ability to find, stream, and store audiobooks on a whim, there are clear differences between the two.

Comparing both Audible and Scribd can help you to find an audible library and audible subscription service that is right for you. 

What is Scribd? 

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Scribd, founded in 2007, is an audiobook and eBook subscription-based business that provides users with access to more than 60 million uploaded documents and more than 1 million book titles. Scribd is not as expansive as its competitor, Audible, although it is quickly growing and expanding its audience to researchers and podcasters alike. 

What is Audible? 

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Audible, founded and launched in 1997 by Don Katz, was originally a media player, known as the Audible Player. Audible is one of the world's largest audiobook subscription platforms available, and the largest in the United States. It is important to note that Audible is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amazon today.

Comparing Scribd and Audible Features

Before choosing a monthly subscription service that is right for your audiobook listening needs, compare the features that both Scribd and Audible have to offer. Because not everyone will listen to the same type of audiobooks or search for the same format and materials, comparing features can help choose the audible library that suits your exact needs.

Ideal for Audiobook Lovers

If you are searching for an audiobook streaming service that is mainly focused on audiobooks themselves, Audible may be right for you. Audible is the industry's leader, with more than 450,000 audiobooks available to subscribers, more than any competing audiobook streaming service today. 

Scribd, on the other hand, has millions of uploaded titles, but these range in format. For those who are looking for a library that is filled strictly with Audiobooks, Audible is a must.  

Selection of Titles

Do you love searching through hundreds of thousands of book titles to find the best fiction, non-fiction, or magazine for you? If so, Audible may be the perfect choice for you. Audible offers the largest selection of books and titles that are well-known, including hot and new releases. 

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Currently, Audible promotes more than 450,000 audiobook titles available to subscribers.

If you enjoy a bit of everything when it comes to your listening habits, you may want to turn your attention to Scribd. Scribd provides users with access to more than 1,000,000 titles. Yes, that's one million. In addition to traditional audiobooks, Scribd users will also have immediate access to additional magazines, uploaded documents, research papers, as well as screenshots or snapshots based on the information they are seeking. 

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In terms of the total selection of titles to choose from, the clear winner is Scribd

Pricing

With a plethora of subscription services available with just a few clicks, it can be overwhelming when it comes to choosing a plan that is right for you without first comparing your options. If you are looking for a service that offers unlimited access to its library for a flat fee, a Scribd membership wins, at $9 per month. 

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However, Audible offers multiple price points and packages that provide digital "credits" to users on a monthly basis. These credits can be used to access exclusive content and benefits that are unavailable anywhere else. Monthly Audible app subscription plans include:

  • Gold Monthly: $14.95 per month. 1 credit per month.
  • Platinum Monthly: $22.95 per month. 2 credits per month.
  • Gold Annual: $149.50 per year. 12 credits per year.
  • Platinum Annual: $ 229.50 per month. 24 credits per year. 
  • Audible Channels Plan: $4.95 per month. No credits are provided.
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It is important to note that Audible users will need to apply their credits to any full-length book they wish to purchase. With an ongoing Audible membership, users are provided with at least 1 credit per month, which can be used towards the purchase of an audiobook available within the Audible library.

In addition to the credits that are provided with the membership plan you choose, you will also be given one editor-selected audiobook each month as one of the perks of your Audible membership. 

When registering for an Audible membership, you will also be presented with an option to try a free trial. This is highly recommended for anyone who is interested in using a streaming service, as this will provide you with a hands-on experience when it comes to the Audible library and all of the features it has to offer. 

Our clear winner when it comes to the pricing of audiobook streaming platforms is Scribd. Whether you are looking to stream traditional audiobooks or if you are searching for an even more expansive library of content and content types, Scribd becomes instantly available for the low cost of $9 a month.  

Overall Value

Whenever you are registering for a new subscription service, even if it is for your favorite audiobooks, it is important to consider the overall value each service provider brings to you. The overall value of each service will depend on your own preferences and needs when it comes to audiobooks and streaming media, although you can also use various features and price points to help come to your decision.

If you enjoy a flat rate when it comes to your subscription services and enjoy dabbling in various podcasts, documents, and topics of research in addition to traditional audiobooks, Scribd is one of the best solutions on the web for just $9 per month.   

It is important to note that while Scribd promotes its paid services as all-inclusive and unlimited, there are some reports that users are capped when it is deemed that they are accessing "too many titles" per month. Directly from the Scribd website itself, it reads:

Occasionally, some particular titles may be temporarily unavailable to you depending on your recent reading activity.

Although this seems to be a rare and insignificant issue among the majority of Scribd users, it may pose an issue for those who need to use Scribd for work or for commercial purposes.  If this is the case, it is best to contact Scribd directly regarding your access and ability to read more titles. 

Audiences

Before choosing the right audiobook subscription plan for you, consider the type fo user you are and why you are interested in subscribing to an audible app or plan. Both Audible and Scribd tend to skew towards different audiences, which can make a difference when settling on the service that works best for you.

Who Uses Audible?

Because Audible prides itself as the largest audiobook streaming service and provider in the United States, it is known to appeal to those who are avid readers and have a love for all things reading. 

Avid Readers

For those who are avid readers and can't get enough of streaming their favorite books, Audible is a top choice. Audible not only provides readers with access to hundreds of thousands of full-length books, but it also offers members with exclusive benefits and access to members-only podcasts and audio releases. 

Commuters

If you drive to work each day or have a long commute during your week, Audible is a solid choice when it comes to streaming audiobooks. The sound quality of Audible is top-tier, along with the vast library of streaming books that are always available with just a click. 

Amazon Kindle Owners

Because Audible is owned by Amazon, all of its features are designed with the Amazon system in mind, including the Amazon Kindle. Amazon Kindle users can seamlessly integrate Audible into their lives within minutes of registering for an account. 

With the use of technologies such as Whispersync, you can quickly and seamlessly sync your Amazon and Audible accounts at all times. Syncing your Kindle with your Amazon account will allow you to switch between platforms without missing a beat or losing your place, regardless of what you are reading or listening to. 

Self-Help and Self-Improvement Readers

If you are looking for an audible streaming service that provides self-improvement and self-help books, Audible is the place to begin. Whether you prefer to listen to self-improvement audiobooks while you are on the road or if you enjoy self-help streams in the evening to wind down after a long day, there is an endless selection to choose from within the Audible library. 

Who Uses Scribd?

While Scribd is newer to the playing field of audio subscription services, it has skyrocketed in popularity due to its ability to reach a much wider audience than Audible. 

Musicians

If you are a musician who is interested in collaborating with other musicians or even sharing written sheet music you have produced, you can do so via Scribd. Scribd is an excellent hub for musicians and artists alike, providing access to thousands of new and unique pieces of music to help spark imagination and keep the creative flow going. 

Researchers

One stand-out feature of Scribd that Audible does not offer is the ability to share and upload research among the entire online community. Scribd is not limited to strictly audio documents, which provides a general hub for researchers and investigators alike. Whether you work in big data, research historical findings, or even have your own lab, you can use Scribd to connect with other like-minded people from all across the world.  

Podcasters

If you have a podcast or if you enjoy streaming podcasts in addition to the audiobooks you enjoy listening to, Scribd may be just the platform for you. Uploading and sharing your podcast on Scribd is also possible, which can help you to maximize your own online exposure and reach, especially to specific like-minded audiences. 

Bloggers and Writers

For writers and bloggers alike, Scribd is a great hub to upload, share, and connect. Using Scribd to share written works, research, and even works of fiction is a great way to gain exposure and to get your work out into the world. Whether you are researching a hot topic, writing an op-ed on today's political climate, or even attempting to garner support for a cause, you can do so as a member of Scribd.

Book Lovers

Of course, Scribd is also available for book lovers who simply want a way to stream their favorite releases. Although there are plenty of audiobooks to choose from within the Scribd library, it is a bit more restrictive when it comes to bestsellers and new releases, which can typically be found within the Audible library.

Audience Verdict

If you are looking for a hub that is focused on streaming audiobooks and nothing more, a traditional plan from Audible is likely to work out best. If you want to expand your horizons and gain access to a wide range of new content types and formats, give a flat-rate Scribd membership a shot. 

Accessibility

In a fast-paced world, keeping up with our favorite shows, music, and forms of entertainment needs to be as simple and as convenient as possible. In terms of accessibility, both Audible and Scribd deliver.

Both Scribd and Audible include the following features that improve accessibility: 

  • Multi-sync: With both Audible and Scribd, it is possible to sync multiple devices and numerous platforms simultaneously once you are successfully logged in. This is ideal if you enjoy streaming your audiobooks from your smartphone, your computer, or even from the Bluetooth connection in your vehicle. 
  • Desktop apps: If you enjoy searching for audiobooks and streaming content directly from your computer, both Scribd and Audible offer downloadable desktop apps. 
  • Multiple operating systems: With Scribd and Audible, you can stream your favorite audiobooks whether you are using Windows, Mac, or iOS devices, making them both extremely versatile. 

Both Audible and Scribd offer extensive accessibility options, and neither is lacking. When it comes to user accessibility and ease of use, we believe both Audible and Scribd are tied. 

Pros and Cons of Scribd and Audible

The benefits and drawbacks of any online streaming service will greatly depend on the features you are looking for and need. Comparing the pros and cons of both Scribd and Audible can help you in your quest to find a streaming platform for audiobooks that is genuinely fitting for you. 

Pros of Scribd

Some of the notable benefits of using Scribd include:

  • Flat rate monthly fee of $9 for unlimited access to all of the content that Scribd has to offer
  • No membership tiers.
  • More than 1,000,000 titles are available to premium users.
  • Multiple content types, including documents, research topics, podcasts, sheet music, and more.
  • A vast and growing online community where users are able to share uploads with like-minded individuals.

Cons of Scribd

A few drawbacks of using Scribd include: 

  • Not as many full-length audiobooks as Audible.
  • Not focused on Audiobooks alone.
  • Lower audio quality compared to premium Audible audiobooks.

Pros of Audible

The most notable advantages of Audible include:

  • Expansive library of audiobooks. 
  • Top-tier library selection of audiobooks including bestsellers and new releases.
  • High-quality audio for streaming devices of any kind.
  • Multiple plans and payment options for different memberships are available for those who are interested in becoming a member. 
  • Premium and exclusive member-only content and benefits are available for subscribers. 
  • Paid members receive an editor-chosen book each month in addition to perks available with their chosen membership plan. 

Cons of Audible

Some cons of Audible include: 

  • Lack of extended content types and formats. Users are limited to a library of audiobooks only. No additional content is currently available. 
  • The use of a digital "credit" system is enforced, providing users with approximately 1 full-length audiobook purchase each month with their membership. 
  • More expensive than alternatives such as Scribd, with limited access for those without credits or for those who want more than traditional audiobooks. 

Choosing the right audiobook platform that offers unlimited access and plenty of content does not have to feel challenging, especially once you are familiar with what both Audible and Scribd have to offer. 

Ultimately, Audible is perfect for the seasoned reader who loves classic fiction and today's bestsellers. However, if you are looking for an online community of book lovers, researchers, artists, and podcasters, you can't go wrong with Scribd. 

Our Pick

We love both Audible and Scribd, as they both offer users access to hundreds of thousands of audiobooks and millions of documents, podcasts, and research topics. However, our pick is Scribd. For just $9 a month, getting started with audiobook streaming has never been easier or more accessible.

What do you think? Which audiobook streaming platform is your favorite, and why? Let us know in the comments below.

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James LePage
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James LePage is the founder of Isotropic Design, a digital agency that builds WordPress websites. I read, write and design constantly!
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