If you love books but can never find the time to sit down and read them the old-fashioned way, audiobooks can be a fantastic way to balance a busy lifestyle and a love of literature.
Or maybe you just want something more interesting to do on the morning commute than stare out the window.
Either way, if you’re looking for a good audiobook app to meet your needs, one of the top considerations is how many books the app actually has to offer.
That’s why today, we’re going to look at 6 of the most popular audiobook apps out there and rank them in order from the smallest to the largest digital library.
Google Play: 20k+ Titles, No Sub
Before we really dive in, there’s one caveat to get out of the way: it can be surprisingly, frustratingly difficult to get accurate numbers when it comes to audiobook libraries.
Various sources will list different amounts, and none of them will be precise. That being said, we’ve done our very best to present them in order from least to most books.
And regardless of the discrepancy between sources, Google Play’s audiobook offering sits solidly at the bottom place with an estimated 20,000+ titles.
To be fair, this android-exclusive audiobook collection is respectable for a service not specifically dedicated to audiobooks alone.
Google Play’s audiobook store offers no subscription service, which means you have to purchase individual books to listen to them, but once you do, you actually own those books.
Apple Books: 40k+ Titles, No Sub
Apple Books sits at 5th place in our list with 40k+ audiobooks to offer.
Like Google Play’s store, Apple Books is not a subscription service. This means that on the one hand, you won’t get access to a massive library.
But on the other hand, you don’t have to pay a recurring fee; you only pay for the books you actually want to read, and you get to keep those books, instead of losing them if you stop paying said fee.
Also like Google Play, Apple Books is a platform-exclusive app, at least when it comes to mobile devices; Google Play is available only on android devices, and Apple Books only on ios.
From here on, all the apps we’ll talk about are available for both android and ios, but these two exclusives deserved at least an honorable mention.
Read this blog here about how much data do audiobooks use?
Scribd: 40k+ Titles with the Cheapest Subscription
Next up we have Scribd, with a similar library size to Apple Books, but without the exclusivity tied to the ios-only service.
Also unlike the previous two entries, Scribd is a subscription service, and the cheapest one on the list at that!
For $8.95 a month, you get access to the entire library. While it may not be able to compete with the top spots on this list, over 40,000 books is still nothing to sneeze at.
If you prefer a subscription service to buying individual books, but want a more budget-friendly option, Scribd might be the optimal pick for your needs.
With tens of thousands of books across various fiction and nonfiction genres, there’s undoubtedly something for everyone here, and at only around 2/3rds of the price of top entries in this list.
Audiobooks Now: An Impressive 180k+ Titles with No Subscription
Before we dive into the top two subscription-based apps out there when it comes to audiobook libraries, we have one more individual-purchase marketplace worth mentioning.
With over 180,000 books on offer, Audiobooks Now has easily the largest library of any non-subscription-based app we can find.
If you prefer to own your books, and don’t want your collection spread over half a dozen different apps with different selections, Audiobooks Now may be the app for your needs.
With such a large library, the odds are in your favor when it comes to finding whatever kind of book you might desire in audio form.
That means you can start building up your collection whenever you have some funds to spare, and it won’t disappear suddenly because you cancelled a recurring payment.
Audiobooks.com: Runner-Up with 150k to 200k+ Audiobooks
To be completely fair here, we can’t be sure whether Audiobooks Now or Audiobooks.com is the true runner-up because of the overlap in estimated library size.
With that being said, what we can say definitively is that Audibooks.com features the second-largest library of any subscription-based audiobook app we can find.
An Audiobooks.com membership will run you $14.95 per month. For that price, you get access to over 150,000—maybe even over 200,000—audiobooks on demand.
That being said, it’s also worth mentioning that the monthly subscription also grants you one book credit per month.
With that credit, you can choose a book from their massive selection to “purchase” (using the credit; there is no additional cost) that’s yours to keep.
This means that while you’ll loose access to the entire library of offerings if you cancel your subscription, you will retain ownership of every book you’ve claimed via monthly credit.
This makes Audiobooks.com a good balance between ownership and on-demand selection; a “best of both worlds” kind of situation, if you will.
It’s also worth noting that every month grants you access to a new “VIP” bonus book on top of your monthly credit.
That being said, the extra VIP book is only available while you’re subscribed.
So, when it comes to books you can actually keep after you cancel, you’re limited to whatever you purchased with your 1 credit a month. Still, it’s not a bad deal at all.
And while it may be the runner-up here, practically speaking, you’re unlikely to really notice any difference in the selection between Audiobooks.com and Audible.
That’s because when you get into the hundreds of thousands, you’re dealing with numbers outside a single human’s ability to reckon with; could you ever possibly read or listen to that many books in your lifetime?
Read this blog here about is Audible faster or slower than reading?
Audible: Biggest Library Out There at 220k to 470k+ Titles
And now, the time has come to talk about the regining champion of library size when it comes to audiobook apps: Audible.
Audible’s selection has the distinction of having the greatest discrepancy between different reports of its library size, with one source citing over 220,000 titles, and another going as high as 470,000!
The reason for this could be one of the same features that’s kept Audible on top of the competition: a constantly expanding library.
In other words, while we cannot say for certain, it’s quite likely that both of these reported figures were accurate at the time of reporting, and Audible had simply acquired around 350,000 additional titles in the intervening time.
Regardless of such speculation, what we can be fairly certain about is that Audible boasts the single largest library of audiobooks of any app or service we know of.
Furthermore, similar to Audiobooks.com, Audible’s subscription grants you monthly credits to permanently purchase individual audiobooks, in addition to access to their massive library.
In fact, Audible offers a couple different options when it comes to pricing.
For $14.95/month, you’ll get access to the Audible library as long as your subscription is active, one book credit per month, and one free audible original per month (a total of 2 free books/month).
For $149.50/year, billed annually, you get all the same offerings listed above, but effectively get two months free by paying up-front.
You could also choose to pay $22.95/month and get two book credits a month, plus an Audible original, a total of 3 books/month that you own even after you cancel.
With such a massive library, flexible pricing options, and the “best of both worlds” approach to subscription service, where you get 2-3 books to keep every month, it’s no wonder Audible’s as popular as it is.
If you have diverse tastes, and want to grow a collection that will be available to you even if you cancel your sub, it’s hard to go wrong with Audible.
- Great Work Life: 7 Best Audiobook Subscription Services & Apps
- Tom’s Guide: Best Audiobook Apps
- Best 9 Audiobook Services