In this post, I’ll go over my experiences with each audiobook platform and compare Scribd vs Audible to see which is best for readers.
I’ve been using Audible to listen to my favorite audiobooks when cleaning the house, commuting, and trying to fall asleep, and it offers some of the best titles available. Read our Audible review to learn more.
I recently discovered Scribd, which is marketed as a service for listening to unlimited audiobooks.
So I bought and tested Scribd, and in this review, I’ll compare the two services. I’ll go over who both are for, the pros and cons of each, and which is best for readers.
|Product Name||Availability||Pricing||Use For||Features|
|Scribd||The Scribd web and mobile app.||$9.99 per month||People looking for an affordable tool that allows them to listen to any title.||Scribd offers podcasts, documents, snapshots, and sheet music.||Try Now|
|Audible||The Audible web and mobile app.||Audible Plus costs $7.95, Audible Premium Plus costs $14.95, and Audible Premium Plus 2 Credits cost $22.95.||Avid readers who are following a specific author and want access to the latest bestsellers.||Audible hosts the best audiobooks and sleep tracks for those who struggle to fall asleep.||Try Now|
What is Scribd
Jared Friedman, Tikhon Bernstam, and Trip Adler founded Scribd.com in 2007 while living together in San Francisco. Scribd is an app that lets you listen to audiobooks for a small monthly subscription.
But it isn’t only limited to audio and ebooks. You can read magazines, documents, sheet music, and research studies.
Who is Scribd For?
After using Scribd to listen to some of my favorite books while learning about creating better content. It’s a good choice for avid readers. I found it can also help:
- Bloggers and writers
Bloggers and Writers
Research is everything when creating blog posts and in-depth guides. Your content sounds lazy and won’t cover all the necessary topics without it. Unfortunately, research is time-consuming.
But with Scribd, simply head over to the “Documents” heading, and you’ll find hundreds of studies and research papers covering different industries like health, marketing, entrepreneurship, and finance.
This is super helpful when writing articles about technical and complex topics because you’ll have a library of research papers waiting for you.
Unlike Audible, which mainly hosts audiobooks and podcasts, Scribd offers sheet music.
This makes Scribd a good option for musicians or those looking to learn a specific instrument like guitar or piano. You’ll find official sheet music published like Hal Leonard, Nancy Faber, and Benj Pasek. Some of my favorite songs on Scribd include:
- Evolve by Imagine Dragons
- Writing’s on the Wall by Sam Smith
- The Way You Look Tonight by Jerome Kern
Fans can also submit sheet music. Although not all these songs are great, you’ll find some catchy tunes that you can play to friends and family.
Scribd contains helpful information that’ll be hard to find with a simple Google search.
Whenever I look for tips online covering entrepreneurship, I notice that I receive generic advice. It’s rare to find unique information that you’ve never heard before.
Fortunately, with Scribd, you can access new information uploaded by famous authors and entrepreneurs, which is super helpful for new business owners. The documents cover everything from getting investors to bootstrapping your business and paying taxes.
What is Audible?
Don Katz founded Audible in 1995 after a long and successful career as an author and journalist. His goal is to create a platform where readers can find their favorite books.
On January 31, 2008, Amazon bought Audible soon after launching Kindle, and ever since, they’ve been the biggest audiobook platform globally.
It’s safe to say that Katz reached his goal because Audible currently offers over 200,000 audiobooks and has millions of subscribers.
Learn more about what is Audible?
Who is Audible For?
After using Audible, I find it empowers the lives of:
- Avid audiobook listeners
- Those who’re too busy to read
- Readers into self-improvement
- Amazon Kindle owners
Avid Audiobook Listeners
If you’re following a specific author like David Baldacci or Salman Rushdie, then you can be sure Audible will have their new books soon after it’s released.
This is a significant factor that sets Audible apart from other platforms like Scribd and Audiobooks Now.
Those Who’re Too Busy To Read
The average CEO reads over 60 books per year. This is one of the many habits that allow them to grow and improve faster than the competition.
CEOs manage people, hit company targets, and talk to investors, so their schedule is packed. But audiobooks let them fill their free time with learning. Try listening to audiobooks when doing redundant tasks if you’re always busy.
Readers Into Self-Improvement
Audible hosts over 200,000 titles on its platform, so if you’re into self-development, you can be sure you’ll find helpful nuggets of information. There are audiobooks written by Dale Carnegie, Tim Ferriss, David Goggins, and Malcolm Gladwell.
By listening for a few minutes every day, I found that I’ll learn several new lessons that I can implement into my personal and professional life. If you’re struggling to pick between the vast array of audiobooks, here are some of my favorites:
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
- Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
- Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink
Amazon Kindle Owners
If you own a few Amazon Kindle ebooks, then Audible is a must-have. Amazon uses Whispersync, a technology allowing you to switch between Kindle and Audible without losing your place. So if you feel like reading and listening, depending on the time of day, Whispersync will help.
Buying Kindle books is also super easy. Simply go to Amazon, choose a book you’d like to buy, and once you’ve purchased it, it’ll automatically appear in your Kindle library.
Now that we’ve covered who can benefit from Scribd and Audible, let’s compare the two platforms using set criteria.
Library of Books Available
After signing up for Scribd and Audible, you’ll find many titles in various niches like writing, business, entrepreneurship, and fiction. However, I noticed that Audible offers a more extensive library of audiobooks.
For example, I’m a big fan of David Baldacci, and when looking for his new book Mercy, I couldn’t find it on Scribd. But when I searched Audible, I found it within seconds. So if you’re an avid reader who’s following a specific author, then Audible is a better option.
Audible offers over 200,000 audiobooks, and its library is constantly expanding. With Scribd, you can only access 70,000 titles.
However, Scribd offers titles in different niches. Alongside books and audiobooks, you’ll find sheet music, magazines, research papers, documents, and slideshows.
Although Scribd has other types of content, I’d still say Audible offers a broader library because of the sheer amount of audiobooks on the platform.
Accessibility is an essential factor to consider when shopping for an audiobook platform because you want to be able to listen when commuting, on a lunch break, or during your free time.
Fortunately, both Scribd and Audible are available on iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac devices. So you can listen to audiobooks when you’re at the office or gym.
I also like the accessibility of both platforms since you can access your account with multiple devices at a time, and it’ll sync. For example, if you’re listening to an audiobook on your mobile phone while sitting on the bus, it’ll sync on your laptop when you’re home. This way, you don’t have to search for where you finished.
The Scribd and Audible desktop and mobile apps are also super easy to use. The interface is simple and if you’re looking for a specific book, simply type it into the search bar on top, and you’re good to go.
After signing up for both monthly subscriptions, I can safely say that Scribd and Audible offer affordable plans, even for those on a budget.
A Scribd membership will only set you back $9.99 per month, and you can listen to or read any title on the platform.
With Audible, after the 30-day trial period, you’ll have three Audible subscription options:
- Audible Plus Membership for $7.95 a month
- Audible Premium Plus Membership for $14.95 per month
- Audible Premium Plus Membership 2 Credits for $22.95 a month
If you sign up for the Audible Plus option, you won’t get any credits, but you can stream unlimited originals and podcasts. You can still stream on the Premium Plus plans, but you also receive credits you can buy books with.
Audible offers an annual version of the Premium Plus plan that costs $149.50 per year, and you’ll get 12 credits. If you’d like 24 credits, it’ll set you back $229.50 annually.
Once you’ve bought a book on Audible, if you don’t like it, simply return it within 365 days of purchase, no questions asked.
However, Scribd is still more affordable because you can listen to your favorite books for a monthly fee of only $9.99.
Both platforms host more than just the best audiobooks. They offer extra features that benefit the lives of readers, writers, and audiobook listeners.
Scribd Offers Helpful Snapshots
Reading a book or listening to an audiobook is time-consuming, so you need to pick which books you listen to carefully.
Fortunately, Scribd offers snapshots of popular titles that are around 10 minutes long. The narrator summarizes a specific book and covers crucial lessons in this audio recording. It’s almost like reading an entire book within a few minutes.
Audible Contains Meditation Programs And Sleep Tracks
For those that struggle to fall asleep, Audible is super helpful. It offers guided meditations and sleep soundtracks that are relaxing. You won’t have to stay up all night trying to fall asleep.
Audible also has a sleep timer feature, so you can automatically stop the recording at a specific timestamp which prevents your phone from running all night.
Areas of Improvement
Scribd and Audible are tools that empower thousands of people globally. However, I noticed a few areas that the founders and developers should work on.
Scribd Isn’t Unlimited
Scribd is marketed as an unlimited tool, but it doesn’t give you unlimited access. When I save more than five or six books a month, I notice that previously available books aren’t available anymore. The Scribd website even says that once your subscription renews, your library will refresh, and you can choose from the entire collection again.
I understand this is how Scribd ensures authors are fairly compensated, but it’s odd that they market a service as unlimited…when it has limits. Although you can listen to multiple books per month, it isn’t the Netflix of audiobooks.
It’s Difficult To Finish An Audiobook On Audible
The number of books on Audible is massive, which is a good thing. But this can make it hard to finish a book. You’ll log into the app, and before you can click on your current audiobook, you’ll find hundreds of titles that catch your interest.
From here, you’ll scroll through and listen to multiple other Audible Originals and podcasts. Before you know it, you’re listening to five different titles and never completed the first chapter of any.
I’d like Audible to introduce a feature that allows you to go straight to your current book without having to be distracted by other titles.
To learn more, read our Audible review.
My Testing Criteria
When deciding whether or not I should recommend Scribd and Audible to my fellow readers, I used the following criteria:
- Variety of books and audiobooks
- Availability of other types of content like podcasts
- Additional features
After using both platforms to listen to audiobooks and other forms of content, I can safely say that they meet all these criteria.
Scribd and Audible offers a wide variety of audiobooks. Even though Audible’s library is larger, I never felt restricted with Scribd. Both tools are affordable, accessible from all devices, the audio quality is amazing, and you can listen to books offline.
Why Trust Us?
I’ve been using and testing multiple ebook and audiobook platforms over the last few months, and Audible and Scribd are my favorites.
I’m a big fan of the Audible app because it has the most extensive library, which is super helpful when looking for a hard-to-find book. Scribd also empowered my life as a freelance writer because the monthly subscription is affordable, and I can listen to several books and podcasts for just a few dollars.
Final Word: Scribd Vs Audible
Audiobook subscription services like Scribd and Audible allow you to learn new skills from famous experts while following your favorite authors, waiting for new releases.
Scribd is an affordable subscription service that gives you access to popular audiobooks, podcasts, magazines, and snapshots. It might not have a vast library like Audible, but it’s a practical option for those who aren’t looking for specific books.
Audible has the most comprehensive library of titles available, so if you’re following specific authors or looking for hard-to-find books, then this platform is for you.
In short, use Scribd if you’re on a budget and looking for a tool that’ll allow you to listen to bestselling books for less than $10. Use Audible if you’re an avid reader who’s following different authors and looking for a specific bestseller.
Library of Books Available: 3/5
Additional features: 4/5
Library of Books Available: 5/5
Additional features: 5/5
Join over 15,000 writers today
Get a FREE book of writing prompts and learn how to make more money from your writing.