Amazon has been reinventing the way we look at books, and it’s for the better.
What started as a venture idea from Jeff Bezos’s garage is now a billion-dollar revenue-making company and the standalone leader of ebooks and audiobooks in the market.
Recent studies show that Amazon’s book sales represent less than 10% of its total revenue today. While 10% may seem insignificant, the fact that it’s 10% of a whopping $500 billion yearly revenue tells you how big of a deal it is.
This proves that Amazon rules the market share with its introduction of Kindle and Audible, and the future looks even more promising. Their vast scale of efficient services is a boon in increasing their customer base yearly.
The Kindle platform allows you to buy or rent books and lets you publish and sell them, thereby exercising the space to build a book-exclusive eCommerce platform that is just a click away for its readers.
On the other hand, Audible is the most preferred platform for people who are always on the go, as you can plug in your earbuds/earphones and have the audiobook play in the background while you go about your commute.
In this post, we’ll have an in-depth comparison of Kindle Unlimited vs Audible to help you decide which subscription is worth your money as per your needs.
Impact of Kindle Unlimited and Audible on the market
Fondly recognized as the “father of the e-reading revolution”, Amazon constantly brings in new features and technological advancements to make Kindle and Audible the go-to choice for digital reading.
Kindle Unlimited is designed in a way that it not only shows which books are chosen by readers but also the ones they complete. As a result, Amazon creates a huge pool of detailed readers data which helps us understand market insights and trends flawlessly.
If we look at Audible, Amazon owns 41% of the US audiobook market standalone. Amazon thrives as a sole leader because of its strategy to get exclusive rights for books featured on audible.
It’s safe to say that readers have officially entered the digital era of books.
Introduction to Kindle Unlimited
In this section, we’ll go over everything you want to know about Kindle Unlimited.
Inception of Kindle
In 2007, Amazon officially released its first-ever electronic book reader, Kindle, for $399. To have a competitive edge over their existing competitors, they introduced it on their eCommerce store, so it was a product that was easily available online for a good rate.
Kindle allows you to collect and read more than a million books, blogs, magazines, etc., on a single device.
It is now popular in the market for things it can’t do – no notifications, no app alerts, and no calls and messages for the sole reason of keeping you immersed in reading your book.
Let’s take a glance at the 4 types of Kindle devices that are available:
|Screen Size||6 inch||6.8 inch||6.8 inch||7 inch|
|Storage||8 GB||8 GB||32GB||8 GB, 32 GB|
|Display||167 PPI||300 PPI||300 PPI||300 PPI|
|Brightness||4 LED||17 LED||17 LED||25 LED|
|Price||$45 with ads, $94.99 without ads||$139.99 with ads, $159.99 without ads||$189.99||$249.99 – $349.99|
All of the above-listed Kindle Devices are amazing in what they do, especially in enhancing your reading experience.
One of the major benefits of purchasing a Kindle device is that you don’t have to worry about carrying multiple books and notes with you all the time. Besides, it is also cost-effective when compared to buying a physical copy of the book all the time.
Kindle Unlimited – how does it work?
Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service for books, audiobooks, magazines, etc., for a fixed price monthly/annually. If you don’t wish to purchase a Kindle device, you can download the Kindle app on your Android or iOS device, and you will be able to access all its features via the app.
You can borrow up to 20 books at a time and return the same at your disposal. Again, this can be done on your exclusive Kindle device or from the app you download on your phone. In both cases, you must have a subscription and a registered Amazon account.
Once you log in to your account, you will be directed to the homepage dashboard, where you will find tailored book recommendations based on your interests.
You can browse for more books in their catalog and start borrowing books from there. It also allows you to save any book for later, so you can revisit it when you read it.
How much does Kindle Unlimited cost?
Kindle Unlimited allows you to start with a 30-day trial period, which is free. After this, you can subscribe to their monthly plan, priced at $9.99 per month, or the yearly plan, which costs $119.99.
If you’re an avid book reader and plan on renewing the subscription on a timely basis, watch out for some amazing discount offers put up by Amazon from time to time.
Please Note: Kindle Unlimited is not a part of Amazon Prime subscription, so you will have to purchase it separately.
Features of Kindle Unlimited
One of the main reasons behind the popularity of Kindle Unlimited has got to be its set of features. Let’s glance through them to know this service better:
Easy to use
Be it the dashboard or downloading/borrowing/returning books, their intuitive interface is super easy to use and free from any complexities.
Kindle Unlimited lets you access up to 20 books simultaneously. If you want another book in your library, you will have to return one of the books. This is a great feature that avoids hoarding too many books simultaneously.
Kindle Unlimited can be used on multiple devices and operating systems, which are:
You can easily swap between the devices without any hassle.
A lot of times, selective books are released on Kindle Unlimited before they are available anywhere else. It purchases exclusive publishing rights, which gives you access to exclusive content.
The platform allows its users to self-publish their books on Kindle Unlimited. This gives you exposure to new, raw and budding talent and gains new perspectives. Talk about underrated writers being given a great platform to showcase their skills.
Read or listen
One of the recent features of Kindle Unlimited allows you to listen to the book or read them as per your preference. Look for the headphone icon near the book description if you wish to listen to it instead of reading it.
Kindle Unlimited is a great platform to read and explore the writers and genres you usually wouldn’t buy from a local bookstore. Their library is full of indie, self-published, and contemporary books, which can be borrowed based on your interest and the reviews given by fellow readers.
If you wish to cancel the subscription, it allows you to cancel it anytime from the dashboard.
Introduction to Audible
In this section, we’ll go over everything you want to know about Audible.
Inception of Audible
If you’re someone who’s not into reading books and is looking for other ways to increase their knowledge, then audiobooks are your solution.
Audiobooks are books narrated in voice and can be accessed while you’re on the go, commuting, doing your household chores, or simply relaxing on your couch.
Audiobooks are now a billion-dollar business, and oh boy, Amazon yet again reigns the empire, all thanks to Audible. It’s an Amazon-owned online store with thousands of audiobooks ready to pick up.
When Amazon acquired Audible in 2008 for about $300 million, the market doubted its vision for the same future.
However, their enhanced customer experience, seamless integration across multiple devices, and broad range of content selection made it desirable and commercial in the reader as well as the non-reader community.
In a recent survey, 49% of people rated Audible as the best audiobook service. This overwhelming online presence has made Audible a preferred platform for publishing, as writers/hosts don’t want to let go of a huge customer base that Amazon has built over the years.
Audible – how does it work?
As the first step, you will have to sign up with them, after which they will give you 2 credits for that particular month – one given during the free trial and another when you make the payment for your monthly plan.
Additionally, Audible gives you 2 extra credits, which you can use to listen to Audible originals, which are books that are exclusively produced and available on Audible only. You can also use these credits to listen to any book available on Audible irrespective of its price.
Looking for more audiobook apps? Check out best audiobook apps for Android and iPhone
In case you don’t use the credit for this month, it gets carried forward to next month. This way, you can save up to 6 credits at a time.
However, it’s important to check the accumulation of credits to avoid any lapses. In case you’re not going to use them in the near future, it’s best to put your account on hold and save the credits, so you can use them when you restart it again.
How much does Audible cost?
You can start by signing up for their 30-day free trial, after which you can go for one of these plans:
- Audible Plus for $7.95 per month: Includes originals, audiobooks, podcasts, sleep tracks, meditation programs, etc.
- Audible Premium Plus for $14.95 per month: Includes everything from the Audible Plus plan, as well as exclusive discounts and sales. You also get 1 premium title of your choice.
- Audible Premium Plus Annual for $149.50 per year: Includes the Plus catalog, access to exclusive discounts and sales, and 12 premium titles of your choice.
Again, this is a separate member account and cannot be clubbed or availed through Amazon Prime membership.
Features of Audible
While Amazon is constantly working on improving the customer experience by evolving the features of Audible, let’s have a look at some of the current ones that have been received well by the users:
Great Listen Guarantee
If you purchase an audiobook using your credit but do not like it, you can exchange it for another without losing your credit points.
You can keep the audiobooks you purchased with your credits even after you cancel the subscription. This means everything you buy from Audible stays with you for life.
Audible doesn’t just have audiobooks, but also podcasts, meditation programs, Audible-exclusive books and so much more.
When you’re listening to a book on your smartphone and want to switch to reading it on Kindle, a feature called Whispersync will allow you to do that seamlessly.
You can continue listening to the book from right where you left. However, this feature is available for Kindle owners only. Apart from Kindle, this feature can be used on any Whispersync for voice-enabled devices.
Apple users can also integrate Audible with their iOS devices and make things more convenient with the help of iTunes syncing.
In addition to the above, if you want to listen to more books after you use up your credits, you can purchase them at 30% off. Keep in mind, this offer is available for selective subscribers only.
Reading a book can be time-consuming, but Audible can save you a lot of time by delivering the contents straight to your ear, anytime and anywhere.
Audiobooks are available online and offline, so an internet connection is no longer a barrier to increasing your knowledge.
All in all, opting for audiobooks from Audible instead of physical copies can save you money, room space, and a whole lot of your precious time.
Kindle Unlimited vs. Audible
Now that we are well aware of what both of these services can do, let’s compare the key differences between them. Drumroll, this is probably the moment you’ve been waiting for.
|Library Size||Over 2 million books, magazines, comics, and audiobooks||Approx 300,000 titles in audiobooks, exclusives, podcasts, and more|
|Experience||Reading and listening||Listening only|
|Device Integration||Kindle, smartphone, laptop/computer, tablet||Smartphone, laptop/computer, tablet, Kindle (for owners only)|
|Subscription||Cancel Anytime. You will lose access to all your books purchased from Kindle Unlimited||Cancel Anytime. The audiobooks purchased against credits can be accessed even after you cancel the subscription|
|Reading Capacity||You can borrow up to 20 books per month||1 free trial credit + entire catalog of audiobooks + premium titles depending upon the plan|
|Pricing||$9.99 monthly, $119.99 yearly||Audible Plus: $7.95 per month, Audible Premium Plus: $14.95 per month, Audible Premium Plus: $149.50 per year|
|Book Genres||Indie, contemporary, self-published, published authors, and more||Audible exclusives, published authors, vintage, contemporary, and more|
While both the platforms are excellent and cost-effective in what they provide, Kindle Unlimited allows its readers to listen to audiobooks along with reading books but Audible does not have the option to read books.
When it comes to the content library, Audible has more rich and more diverse content as compared to Kindle Unlimited but they’re almost as good as each other. Keep in mind Kindle Unlimited has way more titles than Audible.
You can also integrate Audible with Amazon Alexa and Echo to listen to audiobooks via Bluetooth. This option is not available with Kindle Unlimited.
However, both platforms cover popular books and have an intuitive interface that keeps the readers hooked to them.
A common benefit between Kindle Unlimited and Audible share is that it saves up a lot of your space, time, and money, as buying books on this platform is much cheaper than physical copies of it.
Prime Reading vs. Kindle Unlimited vs. Audible
A lot of readers often get confused and have one common question when they opt for an Amazon Prime subscription: “Can we use Audible and Kindle Unlimited via this purchase?”
The clear answer is NO, but to clear the air further, let’s understand what Prime Reading is and how it is different from Kindle Unlimited and Audible.
To start with the basics, Prime Reading is a book library service that comes free of cost with an Amazon Prime subscription.
Their library allows you to borrow books from a library of 1000+ books, magazines, comics, etc. It restricts you to owning 10 titles at a time, while the limit is 20 titles for Kindle Unlimited.
Analyzing further, you can get more than one benefit with Prime Reading, such as priority shipping, Prime Music, Prime Video access, and more, as it comes as a member of your Amazon Prime subscription family.
This also means you don’t have to pay extra to kickstart your reading journey when Prime Reading.
On the other hand, Kindle Unlimited and Audible are standalone services and are not linked with any other subscriptions.
You can say Prime Reading is a small subset of the giant Kindle Unlimited, which offers decent reading options to its readers.
The biggest difference between all these platforms is the book selection titles, as seen earlier, Kindle Unlimited has a vast library of options when compared to Prime Reading.
Now, it totally depends on the reader and the reading stage you’re on. If you’re a beginner, you can definitely opt for Prime Reading to get a head start on your reading journey.
At a later stage, you can choose to avail yourself of Kindle Unlimited or Audible based on your lifestyle and preferences.
Amazon’s e-reading business has become a huge phenomenon and it’s getting better day by day.
Holistically speaking, when choosing between Kindle Unlimited and Audible, you must consider various scenarios before opting for either or both of them.
If you have a busy lifestyle and struggle to find time for your reading, then Audible is the best option, as you can listen to audiobooks while you’re working, doing your daily chores, or commuting to work.
You can look at subscribing to Kindle Unlimited, as it integrates seamlessly with your phone, laptop, tablet, and other devices.
An additional bonus here is that it also gives you the option to listen to a number of audiobooks so you can also experience them to some extent.
If experiencing the feel of a book is important to you while you read, you should opt for Kindle Unlimited.
There are people who love reading more than listening to books, so that’s one factor that can determine your decision as well.
Choosing the right subscription service for you is subjective to your needs, lifestyle, and budget that you are willing to spend monthly or yearly.
You can also choose to have both subscriptions in one go for an enriching experience if it fits within your spending limits. Both services are a benchmark for other products and beyond the current market trends, and they are writing the future with each passing day.
That being said, you can be assured that you won’t be disappointed by either of the services as the customers speak for them on most occasions.
This article will help you understand Kindle Unlimited Vs. Audible better, and also in deciding the direction you wish to go in between these two services.
Next, check out these book summary apps to optimize your reading.