Audible is a convenient, accessible service that lets you listen to audiobooks on-demand, but sometimes the exact way it functions may be confusing.
How do you access audiobooks? What happens when you cancel? Can you keep any of them if your subscription ends?
Here’s How Audible Lets You Access Books:
Audible.com offers two subscription options: Audible Plus and Audible Premium Plus. Both subscriptions offer access to libraries of different sizes with an active subscription. Audible Premium Plus allows you to select one title per month to keep for good; Audible Plus does not.
Do Audible Books Disappear After You’ve Listened to Them?
If by “disappear,” you mean, “Will I lose access to them once my subscription expires?” then yes, by that definition, they will disappear after your subscription ends if you cancel or fail to renew.
However, if by “disappear” you mean, “Will downloaded books to be removed from my device when I’m done?” or “Will they be removed from my collection?” then no, they will not.
As long as you have an active Audible subscription, you can listen to any title in the library as often as you want and download them for offline listening too!
Audible Plus offers access to a select library of over 10,000 titles, and Audible Premium Plus offers access to a substantially larger library of over 500,000 titles, including the Plus titles.
You can browse, download, and listen to any title in the relevant library for as long as you’re subscribed. If you pause, cancel, or fail to renew your Audible Plus subscription, you will lose access to the library as soon as your subscription ends or is paused.
The same is true for Audible Premium Plus, with the exception that you can still access books you’ve purchased with your monthly credits, but more on that later!
How Long Can You Keep Audible Books?
There is no limit to the number of times you can listen to a title if you have a valid subscription.
There’s also no limit to how many titles you can have downloaded for offline listening or how long you can keep them on your device—again, as long as you’re subscribed.
It’s not like a brick-and-mortar library; there are no late fees or limits on how long a title can be “checked out.”
The only limiting factor is whether or not you currently have an active subscription. As long as you do, nothing’s off-limits!
Can You Keep Audible Books After Canceling?
If you have an Audible Plus subscription, the answer’s a flat “no.” Once you cancel, pause, or allow your Audible Plus subscription to expire, you lose access to the library and anything you were listening to or intended to listen to later.
However, it’s a bit of a different story with Audible Premium Plus. If your Premium Plus subscription is canceled, paused, or allowed to expire, you will lose access to the full 500,000+ title library in all its massive glory.
Audible Premium Plus awards you one “credit” for every month you subscribe. These credits can be redeemed for titles at a one-for-one rate: one credit entitles you to one audiobook that’s yours to keep forever.
This means that with Audible Premium Plus, you’re effectively paying for two things with your subscription fee.
In exchange for each month’s sub-fee, you get temporary access to the full library of 500,000+ titles and permanent access to one title of your choice.
For example, let’s say you subscribe to Audible Premium Plus for three months, and in that time, you redeem your three credits—one from each month—for three audiobooks.
Then let’s say you cancel your membership. For three months, you could listen to any audiobook as many times as you wanted from that massive library.
When you canceled after those three months, you could no longer do that; you should still be able to log in to your Audible account, but the library would now be off-limits.
However, you can still listen to and download those three titles as often as you want, with no expiration date, because you own them now.
Can You Lose Your Audible Books?
If we’re talking about books you’re listening to from the library, you can lose access to them when your subscription ends, but you didn’t own them in the first place.
However, if you purchased books from Audible with your Premium credits—or with real money—those should be yours to keep forever.
Whether you’re subscribed or not, and even if Audible removes it from their library, you should be able to access a book you purchased indefinitely.
There are potential, rare exceptions to this rule, but we’ll get to that in the next section!
What Happens if a Book Is Taken Off Audible?
Titles are occasionally removed from the Audible library for a variety of reasons.
Sometimes, the deals Audible has with publishers may change, and they may lose the rights to sell or offer access to a title. Also, an unintentional copyright infringement may be discovered, and in this case, Audible will be required to remove the title to correct the mistake.
In theory, if a title is removed because Audible lost the right to sell it, it should disappear from the main library, but not your collection, if you purchased it with credits or cash.
If it’s a case of accidental copyright infringement, it would have to be removed from your collection, but Audible would be required to offer you a refund or free credit.
There are various reports of Audible subscribers losing titles from their collection that they had previously purchased without explanation. Frequently, they cite that not only do they not get an explanation, but they don’t get a refund either, at least not until they manually bring it up with customer support.
Ultimately, this is a risk you choose to take when using any subscription service, as not everything always goes as smoothly as the company would like you to believe it will.
Do You Keep Your Audible Books if You Pause Your Membership?
If you pause your subscription, you will lose access to the full library you were paying for until you resume and pay for the next month.
You should retain full access to purchased books with credits and real money. You should always be able to log in to your Audible account, but you will only be allowed to access titles you’ve purchased if you don’t have a current, active subscription.
What Do I Do with Finished Audible Books?
If you’re listening to a book with your subscription, i.e., one you have not purchased, then you can choose to be done with it and remove it from your library once you’ve listened.
If you liked it, maybe you’ll want to keep it, in which case, you can spend a credit—or real money if you’re out of credits—to do just that.
If you’re not sure either way, you can leave it in your library. You’ll be able to re-listen if you want as long as you’re subscribed, but not if you cancel.