Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A Comparison between Audible and Google Play Audiobook Pricing Strategies

Google brought audiobooks to Google Play Store in January 2018 while Audible still takes the lead and pulls ahead of its contenders in audiobook market. In this post, I’m going to compare the audiobook services provided by Audible and Google in terms of pricing strategy respectively.


Audible is well known for its membership subscription plans which subscribers pay a monthly/annual fee and get credits in return. The Gold plan is priced at $14.95 per month for 1 credit, and the Platinum plan is priced at $22.95 per month for 2 credits. Once you’re an Audible member, you can buy 1 audiobook for 1 credit no matter how much the audiobook costs. All Audible members can make regular audiobook purchases at a 30% discount. A limited number of unused credits can be rolled over into the next month or year, depending on which membership plan and the amount of allotted credits. Audible members have unlimited listening access to all Audible Channels content.
Actually there’s a hidden Silver plan that Audible doesn’t advertise. Audible Silver membership plan costs $14.95 every two months, instead of every month. You still only get one free credit every time your subscription renews. If six books a year is enough for you, then Silver plan suits you well. There is no quick access to this silver subscription, you have to go to Audible customer service page and start a chat to ask them to downgrade your membership to silver.
While Audible constantly pushes its membership plans, it also lets you buy the individual audiobook from Audible, but the prices especially for new titles are fairly expensive. Good news is that Audible offers a DAILY DEAL where you can pick up cheap title to listen to: today’s deal is Mark Miodownik’s Stuff Matters, which costs only 2.95$ (the regular price is 26.59$). An added benefit with Audible is it offers aggressive discount on the audio companion if you’ve already bought its ebook on Amazon. If you’ve bought Danny Baker’s Going on the Turn on Amazon, you just need to pay 2.99$ rather than the regular price 20.65$ to get the audiobook version from Audible.


Google doesn't adopt any membership plan for its audiobook service. You need to pay for individual titles at their shelf price. At the initial stage, Google is running a promotion where most audiobooks are heavily discounted. It’s offering a decent range of titles (including older classic titles and new releases) on limited time offers. Google also offers a 50% discount on your first audiobook. For now, no discount is offered on a Google Play audiobook if you’ve already purchased the eBook version. As for this point, those who enjoy swapping between ebook and audiobook have a firm reason to stick with Audible.
If you’re a Google Home device owner, you probably get a promo email from Google saying some Google Home users can redeem a complimentary audiobook of their choice for free. The promotion is valid until February 9th, 2019.
Audible is cheaper if you are listening to one or more audiobook per month, let alone it offers a 30-day-Audible-free-trial-membership. If you’re not a regular listener and not preoccupied with new releases, it’s always cheaper to buy off the shelf. Right now, Google Audiobooks is a better alternative for selective titles because of the heavy promotional discounts. However, once the promotion period ends, prices will be back to normal, and Google may lose its price advantage in the long run.
Through the above comparison, we can see that Audible audiobook is superior to Google audiobook service in terms of pricing plans. However, Audiobooks downloaded from Audible website are in the Amazon proprietary format AAX or AA. The Audible audiobooks are locked by DRM which prevents you from sharing your purchased audiobooks with your friends. Moreover, the DRMed Audible audiobook are confined to be played on selected Audible supported players or devices, so you can’t transfer them among multiple platforms and devices. Given the above situation, it’s imperative to remove Audible DRM and convert their formats to a universal audio format such as mp3, wma, wac, etc.
Epubor Audible Converter is a powerful tool dedicated to stripping DRM from your purchased Audible audiobooks and converting the AA and AAX formats to mp3 or other compatible DRM free formats.
For more information please read this article: Ultimate Way to Remove Audible DRM and Convert AAX/AA to MP3