As you might know, I’ve become a huge fan of audiobooks and decided to compare two audiobook providers: Audible and Google Play Books and in particular, audiobooks (as they also offer ebooks). I have been using Audible for over a year now and have loved it a lot. However, I was listening to Night by Elie Wiesel and could not find Dawn or Day on Audible which made me check for it on other sites. I found it on Google Play Books and decided to compare there two. Here’s what I’ve liked and not liked:
Design and features
Google Play Books
For me, design and clarity of Google Books is amazing. The app – first word that comes to my mind is cute because everything is so scrollable and clickable and moving in store is very simple. If you start browsing store on Amazon, it seems to redirect you to a bit different looking site that takes a few seconds longer to load. I like the dark theme of Audible, however there is no option to change it. Nor is there an option to change it with Play Books. Battle of light and dark? Probably due to my phone being Android, Play Books fits my screen perfectly whereas with Audible, as you can see there’s only the half of the third book in screenshot.
Features. Audible supports the car mode as you can see from the first screenshot. Quick search on Play Books did not give me any such option, although I might not have found it or it might be a separate app. Amazon offers Whispersync so if you have both Audible and Kindle, you easily sync and change between listening or reading and also offer you discounts. At the moment, I did not get discounts on Play Books when I purchased the audiobook. You can connect Play Books with your Google Assistant. And you can use Alexa for Audible. Yay. Audible shows stats on how many books you’ve listened to in a week, month or all time as well as gives you badges to cheer you on. But gosh I love the design so Play Books wins this one.
Price & Return Policy
Google Play Books
Google Play Books offers no subscriptions so you need to pay for individual titles at their shelf price. There is no return policy so once you have bought the book, that’s it.
Audible has a set of different subscription plans + 30 days free trial.Once you’re an Audible member, you can buy 1 audiobook for 1 credit no matter how much the audiobook costs. You can return any audiobook purchased in the past 12 months and get your credit back.
Okay. So personally I love Audible for their subscription plans and return policy. Getting any book you want at cost of the credit
$14.95/month is great. This often will save you a penny as otherwise you would pay full price for the book. See Harry Potter example below. And ah return policy of Audible. I love it. It takes 5 clicks to return the title and you can return the book for following reasons: Issue with the audio (makes sense), did not like the book (THIS IS AMAZING), did not like the narrator (makes sense), bought it by mistake (not done this yet BUT seems AMAZING), thought I was getting a physical book (umm okay) and some other reason. And just like that you will get your 1 credit back. Audible wins.
Selection & Languages
Google Play Books
English, German, Spanish, Dutch, Russian, Chinese…
Over 475 000 titles
Welcome to the interesting part. The selection of audiobooks. Audible has over 475 000 books. Play Books doesn’t tell how many books it has, however I compared 20 books and could find them both on Audible and on Play Books. But then, I only found Dawn and Day by Eli Wiesel only on Play Books which might say they have a better deal with Recorded Books.
As for languages, Audible offers some amount of titles in English, German, Spanish, Dutch, Russian and Chinese but it seems to be very predominantly English. There’s no books in Nordic languages for example. Google Play Books is available in 75 different countries and has variety of titles in Swedish and Finnish. I personally listen to everything in English so for me it doesn’t make any difference and as for titles, I’ve only listened to about 20 books on Audible and less than 5 on Play Books. It’s a tie.
So which one was better?
For me, I don’t think I will shift from Audible unless I would like to listen to something in Finnish or there are some titles that cannot be found on Audible. I hate the idea of not being able to return the book because it takes a lot of time to listen to it and time is money so then it’s like wasted money. I think maybe if you would prefer books in your own language, then Play Books might be an better option.
Thoughts? Comments? Do you like audiobooks? Any other audiobook services you’d recommend?