Audiobooks Services Compared: Scribd, Audible & Kindle


Audiobooks Services Compared: Scribd, Audible & Kindle

In the current digital era, traditional libraries are becoming less useful. Imagine going to the library, searching for a book you want, maybe for several minutes if the library is appropriately arranged. But again, this movement wastes a lot of time.

In case you opt to rely on technology, in reading books or listening to audiobooks; things get so much easier. Plus finding books online for a digital copy is much easier than having to walk to your library. Some libraries are not up to date, and you won’t easily find independent authors there unlike in reader subscription type of services.

That is the major problem that we know you will bump into – choosing the right audiobook service. Yes, there are various alternatives, but with different features baked in. Juggling between Scribd, Audible, or Amazon Kindle is not a walk in the park. Furthermore, considering that both of these services are salivating to get that hard-earned money out of your pockets.

Look, this equation is what we want to help you solve. In fact, not help you but rather solve it for you. How cool is that? So, let us jump right into it.

Summary: Scribd, Audible and Kindle

So, both Scribd, Audible, and Kindle are one of the best-renowned audiobook services out there. But we understand that you cannot pay for every dick tom and harry service that is out there. You have to choose and settle for one. Most importantly, you have to get a service that offers you the best value for money. But that does not mean that you should not opt for two or even three – that depends on your personal preferences, budget, and also needs.

I didn’t want to break it to you here, but spoiler alert – Scribd is the winner.

But why early?

This summary is to give an insight into what you should expect by the end of the article. It also makes it easy for those in a hurry. So why did we choose Scribd specifically? 

Why we chose Scribd over Audible and Kindle

  • Scribd is cheap, unlike Audible and Kindle Unlimited – we back it up for offering great value for money.
  • Scribd offers unlimited access to audiobooks (between 1 and 3 audiobooks), so this is not the Netflix way. Restrictions do apply, but you will get to read just enough for the month at no extra cost.
  • You get to keep the audiobook even after you cancel your subscription
Audiobooks Services Compared: Scribd, Audible & Kindle
A phone displaying an audio player and headphones @audible

Features: Scribd, Audible and Kindle

Scribd features

1. Ad-free

Scribd is free from advertisements. This ensures a continuous non-interrupted flow with no ads.

2. Allows copying of documents without restrictions

Scribd will enable you to copy any of the documents books without restrictions. Keep in mind; copyright policies still apply though.

3. Unlimited access

As long as you’re on the paid plan, Scribd gives you access to an uncountable number of books, audiobooks, magazines, and more.

4. Cross-platform support

Scribd is available on both desktop and mobile devices. However, for desktop, there is no compatible app yet, so you have to use the web. On mobile, Scribd has an app on both Android and iOS.

5. An excellent collection of audiobooks

Scribd has a good number of audiobooks in comparison to its contenders although the service will give you cheaper access to its audiobooks catalog.

6. Offline listening

Scribd allows you to listen to your audiobooks on the go even when you are away from home. You can download your audiobooks and read them entirely online.

7. Available materials

Apart from being an audiobook service, Scribd also offers other things that you can be interested in. Scribd has magazines from different sources like People, New York Magazine, Time, The Atlantic, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg Businessweek, Men’s Health, and also periodicals. The service touts itself as the world’s most extensive document library with more than 60 million documents, including official government reports, case studies, study guides, academic dissertations, medical reports, and many more.

8. Adjustable narration speed

The narration speed can be adjusted to suit your needs. On Android, you will have to be running at least Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

9. Keep purchased titles even on cancellation

As long as you have purchased a title, it will remain available for access even if you cancel the subscription.

10. Sync across devices

Scribd allows syncing across multiple devices.

Audible features

Audiobook lovers also find Audible packing a ton of features. These features include;

1. Offline listening

You can download your audiobooks offline and store them locally on your phone. This will allow you to catch up on your audiobooks without needing an internet connection. This feature is mostly applicable for users who travel a lot.

2. Whispersync for voice

One of the favorite features we found on Audible. Whispersync for Voice enables you to switch from reading an eBook on one device to listening on another device without losing your place.

3. Intuitive mobile user interface

If you’re looking for something with a simple and understandable User interface, then Audible it is. The mobile app is modern, and the user interface is optimized for the job – searching and listening to audiobooks. Audiobooks can be searched by author, title, genre, or even narrator. It doesn’t get any better than this. Legacy fans of audiobooks will tell you how a narrator can also influence what book you can listen to. There is also a discover book section which gives you recommendations on which books you should listen to next. Categories in the discover section include bestseller, new releases, and also personalized audiobook recommendations.

4. Bookmarking supported

With bookmarking capability, Audible enables you to save a clip or well… a bookmark so you can easily catch up from where you left at a later time or date. The bookmarking feature is terrific, and we are sure you will love it too.

5. Free audiobook exchange

What’s better in Audible is it allows you to exchange your audiobooks, anytime, if you wish to.

6. Sync across devices

Audible has built-in functionality that automatically syncs your audiobook library across your plethora of devices. Coupling this with the bookmarking feature makes the audiobook listening experience even better. Which means you can catch up on your current audiobook from another device when maybe your main one is less on power or has shut down.

7. Easy navigation

Audible has been baked in with various navigation features for the improved listening experience. You get an option to skip forward or backward, plus you can even navigate through the audiobook chapters whenever you like.

8. Keep purchased titles even on cancellation

Once you have purchased an audiobook, it will be available for you forever.

9. Adjustable narration speed

Want to listen to your audiobooks any faster or slower than the narrator? Then Audible got you covered. We know that at times, a narrator might get too annoying with the voice tone and speed of narration. However, Audible allows you to adjust the narration speed to the extent your most prefer to listen to your audiobook at. You can adjust the speed up to 3x faster or slower if that sounds any better to you.

10. Cross-platform support

Audible is available on various platforms, including your smartphone, tablet, or even computer. Audible is available on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Kindle, Kindle Oasis, Fire Tablet, iPad, Windows PCs and also on smart home speakers like Sonos, any Alexa enabled devices and on Fire TV. With support for these devices, almost (if not all) the ecosystem is covered.

11. Sleep timer

The sleep timer is a feature that enables one to set the app to stop narration after a preset time. Imagine you’re in bed what to catch up on audible audio before you get to slumberland, but you don’t want the narration to continue long after you are asleep. The sleep timer helps in this situation. You can set the app to stop after preset times like 8 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes, or at the end of the chapter.

12. Access ad-free

Nobody wishes to be interfered with ads which in most cases are just wrongly targeted. So, Audible offers you an ad-free experience.

13. Available materials

Audible just like Scribd, it offers more than just eBooks. You can also enjoy listening to radio programs, newspapers, and magazines all in audio format.

Kindle features

Lastly, Kindle offers the following features:

1. Sync across devices

Like both Audible and Scribd, Kindle Unlimited also allows you to sync your library across all your supported devices as long as they have Whispersync support. 

2. Cross-platform support

Kindle Unlimited supports various platforms like Android, Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and any Kindle devices from Amazon. 

3. Borrowing of titles allowed

Kindle allows you to borrow titles. You can borrow ten titles at once. This can range from audiobooks, eBooks, magazines.

4. VoiceView

VoiceView screen reading functionality is a feature on Kindle that reads out loud any eBooks available in text only. This feature is helpful since Kindle heavily relies on Audible compatible titles for audiobooks which are roughly 40,000 titles. But many of the available materials are only available in the form of eBooks and lack Audible narration. See, VoiceView solves this problem enabling you to listen to any eBooks via Bluetooth speakers or headphones.

5. Immersion reading

Involves one reading an eBook as well as listening to an audiobook version of it.

6. Whispersync for voice

Like on Audible, Whispersync for Voice allows seamless switching from either listening to an audiobook to reading the companion eBook and vice versa.

7. Keep purchased titles even on cancellation

If you choose to cancel your Kindle subscription, your purchased titles and all your library will still be available to you at any time.

Kindle Unlimited only available in some selected countries, including the US, UK, Canada, and a few more countries.

Interested in getting the kindle for your reads? Check out the all-new Kindle Fire here!

Audiobooks Services Compared: Scribd, Audible & Kindle
A person holding an iPhone @amazonkindle

Comparison: Scribd, Audible and Kindle

Who are these programs for?

Anyone. Anyone who wants to listen to audiobooks or even read ebooks and magazines. Audible, Scribd and Kindle are all aimed at solving the current digital problem of sitting down on the couch and take a book and shuffle between the pages. It can be tiresome. And most of all, most people are maybe lazy these days to read books in hard paper.

Furthermore, books in hard copy are a bit more expensive than in digital copy. Plus, audiobook services bring books near what we love – our gadgets. It’s a perfect combo if you think of it. 

Audiobook services apply to anyone who wants to read or listen to books on the go while doing any other light activity — maybe cooking, just relaxing on the couch and more.

Pros & Cons of Audible, Scribd, and Kindle

Audible pros

  • Cross-platform support with sync
  • Available worldwide
  • A large collection of audiobooks

Audible cons

· Expensive

Scribd pros

  • Cross-platform support with sync

Scribd cons

  • Unlimited access

Kindle pros

  • Cross-platform support with sync
  • Generous initial freebies
  • VoiceView™ support

Kindle cons

  • Limited book available in Audio format
  • Kindle has over a million titles, but the latest ones are hardly included
Audiobooks Services Compared: Scribd, Audible & Kindle
A held smartphone displaying text @amazonkindle

Pricing: Scribd, Audible and Kindle

Audible, Scribd, and Kindle are all paid audiobook services. But who offers more value for money? We are about to find out in a few.

Starting with Audible, the service provides you with a free 30-day trial with full access. The free 30-day membership will give you free access to 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals. After the thirty days, Audible will set you back by $14.95 per month for the Gold membership. Still, you will continue being provided with three titles each month: 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals. 

Well, there is also a chance that you may not like a provided title. But Audible will allow you to swap it at no extra cost. Under the premium subscription, users can be able to Enjoy your titles on iOS (Apple iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad), Android, Sonos, Kindle, and Alexa-enabled devices. Audible also offers a higher plan termed as Platinum which goes for $22.90 per month. Platinum membership gives you four titles for free each month: 2 audiobooks and 2 Audible Originals.

Now moving on to Scribd, the service is also a paid one. But, like Audible, you are offered the opportunity to try out the platform free of charge for 30 days straight. With the free 30 day ticket, you will gain access to unlimited* number of books, audiobooks, magazines, and more even though we will not forget to mention that unlimited access is pegged with restrictions to some titles.

If you wish to continue after the trial ends, you have to pay $8.99 per month. Ideally, this will give you access to unlimited audiobooks. But Scribd says occasionally, and they may offer limited titles that are accessible within a specific content library in 30 days.

Lastly, Kindle also has a free trial for 30 days like the other contenders in this list: Audible and Scribd. If you avail for the 30 days of the free trial, Kindle gives you unlimited access to its entire Kindle Unlimited library. After the trial period, you will be charged $9.99 per month. Kindle premium unlocks all the features baked in the program that we had already looked at before.

Audiobooks Services Compared: Scribd, Audible & Kindle
A phone connected to earphones on a book @scribd

Verdict: Scribd, Audible and Kindle

Winner: Kindle

Juggling through these three alternatives can be hard. 

Kindle offers unlimited access to its entire library even on the free trial. Although Kindle turns out a bit expensive than Scribd – the cheapest in this list – it offers excellent value for money. 

However, note that Kindle supposedly contains only 40,000 books that are compatible with Audible in total. But with VoiceOver Screen reader functionality you can listen to any eBook in audio format. Amazon Kindle Unlimited has more than 1.4 million books available on Kindle Unlimited in total. Out of the 40,000 audiobooks, free Audibles are only 2,000. Audible, on the other hand, has roughly 200,000 audiobooks. In terms of value for money, Kindle is the winner.

User-friendliness: Scribd, Audible and Kindle

On ease of use and the overall user experience on the platform, choosing between the three is harder. Audible offers an excellent user interface that does not compromise anything from the user’s end. The same case applies to Scribd and Kindle. But these UI’s are not similar, so we find Audibles user interface more optimized and appealing and built to deliver fantastic user experience than the other two.

Support: Scribd, Audible and Kindle

Support has proven to be one of the critical features that can either break or accelerate a program. No one can use a program that has no customer support laid out for technical assistance or inquiries. The case is no different for Audible, Scribd, and Kindle. 

Starting with Audible, the program offers support via phone, email, and live chat 24/7. In a live chat, the response team takes a few minutes to respond. So we recommend the live support channel if you want to be helped faster. Alternatively, audible also has a support center equipped with various frequently asked questions regarding the service, which we find helpful, as well.

Scribd also offers a support center with helpful resources regarding the program. You can also use traditional email or social media platforms to seek help. Additionally, Scribd has also provided a physical address for those with other inquiries that have no hurry.

Kindle also offers customer support via email and other channels as well, with no live support. 

But can you bank your trust on available support channels alone? Definitely no.

There is much more that should be considered before saying a specific service is better than the other in terms of support. 

We recommend services with live support which proves to be the most effective way. This is because live support channel tends to respond faster to queries than using other alternative channels. Alternative channels in this matter include email and social media. 

Phone support is excellent, but it comes with its limitations. You may end up being charged more since the customer support numbers may not have the local phone number format.

But live chat is terrific amongst all of the support channels since its faster and you don’t have to struggle and introduce yourself via call. Plus, not everybody loves talking via phone calls.

Audiobooks Services Compared: Scribd, Audible & Kindle
A held phone, a cup of coffee and a book on the table @scribd

Final verdict: Scribd, Audible and Kindle

All of these services are great. But each of them comes with its limitations. All of them have various features that make listening to audiobooks a fantastic experience. Audible is excellent. It comprises of over 400,000 audiobooks, and the books are updated regularly. That means you will find almost every other prominent author you are looking for on Audible.

What is even good is that you get to keep all your library even after you cancel your subscription. However, on pricing, Audible is a bit expensive, unlike both Scribd and Kindle Unlimited. You pay $14.25 per month to get one audiobook.

Moving on to Scribd, the service is also amazing with a good collection of audiobooks. Scribd has the “unlimited package” that you access as a paid member which gives it an edge over the competition. With Scribd, if you listen to audiobooks more, then you shall enjoy the service. At only $8.99 a month, there is nothing to complain about Scribd – other than getting a limited number of audiobooks available per month.

Kindle Unlimited is cheaply priced too. You can read from the available catalog of over 1.3 million books available on the platform. However, do note that Kindle Unlimited only has around 40,000 eBooks with Audible narration included. So you will have to read for yourself the digital copy of over 90% of eBooks available on the platform. These are quite a few audiobooks in comparison to other contenders in this list. But looking at the total eBooks available – the list is unanimous. But most of these titles are not quite great common genres included are just romance and relationships. So for romance and fiction, be sure you will have all your needs sorted.


Thank you for reading with us today! Which one of these services do you think you’ll prefer more, let us know in the comment section below.

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