Google Play Audiobooks vs. Amazon Audible Audiobooks

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Google brought audiobooks to Google Play Store in January 2018. Google aims at audiobooks territory, seeking to compete with Amazon Audible. Google’s audiobook service is launching initially in 45 countries and in nine languages. While Audible is still the largest audiobook seller, it must be an uphill battle between Google and Audible when it comes to audiobook market competition. In this article, I’m going to compare the audiobook services provided by the two platforms in terms of pricing, the number of audiobook titles, return policy, compatible playing media, and other features.


1. Pricing comparison
2. Number of audiobook titles
3. Return Policy
4. Compatible playing media
5. Other features

Pricing comparison


Audible is well known for its membership subscription plans which subscribers pay a monthly/annual fee and get credits in return. The Gold plan is priced at $14.95 per month for 1 credit, and the Platinum plan is priced at $22.95 per month for 2 credits. Once you’re an Audible member, you can buy 1 audiobook for 1 credit no matter how much the audiobook costs. All Audible members can make regular audiobook purchases at a 30% discount. A limited number of unused credits can be rolled over into the next month or year, depending on which membership plan and the amount of allotted credits. Audible members have unlimited listening access to all Audible Channels content.

Actually there’s a hidden Silver plan that Audible doesn’t advertise. Audible Silver membership plan costs $14.95 every two months, instead of every month. You still only get one free credit every time your subscription renews. If six books a year is enough for you, then Silver plan suits you well. There is no quick access to this silver subscription, you have to go to Audible customer service page and start a chat to ask them to downgrade your membership to silver.


While Audible constantly pushes its membership plans, it also lets you buy the individual audiobook from Audible, but the prices especially for new titles are fairly expensive. Good news is that Audible offers a DAILY DEAL where you can pick up cheap title to listen to: today’s deal is Mark Miodownik’s Stuff Matters, which costs only 2.95$ (the regular price is 26.59$). An added benefit with Audible is it offers aggressive discount on the audio companion if you’ve already bought its ebook on Amazon. If you’ve bought Danny Baker’s Going on the Turn on Amazon, you just need to pay 2.99$ rather than the regular price 20.65$ to get the audiobook version from Audible.



Google doesn't adopt any membership plan for its audiobook service. You need to pay for individual titles at their shelf price. At the initial stage, Google is running a promotion where most audiobooks are heavily discounted. It’s offering a decent range of titles (including older classic titles and new releases) on limited time offers. Google also offers a 50% discount on your first audiobook. For now, no discount is offered on a Google Play audiobook if you’ve already purchased the eBook version. As for this point, those who enjoy swapping between ebook and audiobook have a firm reason to stick with Audible.



If you’re a Google Home device owner, you probably get a promo email from Google saying some Google Home users can redeem a complimentary audiobook of their choice for free. The promotion is valid until February 9th, 2019.

Audible is cheaper if you are listening to one or more audiobook per month, let alone it offers a 30-day-Audible-free-trial-membership. If you’re not a regular listener and not preoccupied with new releases, it’s always cheaper to buy off the shelf. Right now, Google Audiobooks is a better alternative for selective titles because of the heavy promotional discounts. However, once the promotion period ends, prices will be back to normal, and Google may lose its price advantage in the long run.

Number of audiobook titles


Audible has over 400,000 audiobook titles overall to offer with over 180,000 best sellers, new releases, mysteries, sci-fi, romances and more to choose from.


We have no clue about how many titles will be made available at launch by Google. But Google claims to have all the bestselling authors and titles.

I assume that the Google Play audiobook collections will be smaller than Audible’s.

Return Policy


Audible members can return any audiobook purchased in the past 12 months with the Great Listen Guarantee benefit. If you're unhappy with your book, you can return or exchange it easily as long as it's within 365 days of the original purchase. Audible may limit how many books you can return online. You can make returns from the Audio Purchase History page on the Audible desktop site with ease.


Google does not give refunds for most Google Play purchases as they deem that all sales are final. Refunds on audiobooks depend on where you bought the audiobook: for South Korean users, you can request a refund within 7 days of purchase, as long as you have not started listening to the audiobook. For users from other countries or regions, you can request a refund at any time if the audiobook won’t load or play.

Compatible playing media


Audible audiobooks are compatible across hundreds of different devices, including but not limited to: iOS devices (iPhones, iPods, iPads), Android devices (phones and tablets), Windows Phone, Kindle Fire tablets, Kindle Oasis, Kindle 8th Gen, Kindle Keyboard, Kindle Touch, Sandisk MP3 players, Creative MP3 players, Garmin & TomTom GPS devices, Mac & Windows computers.

Audible is well integrated with Amazon Alexa, so you can listen to your audiobooks on the growing range of Amazon Echo speakers. You can ask Alexa to read eligible Kindle books in your library. Alexa can read Kindle books that support Text-to-Speech technology used for Wikipedia articles, news articles, and calendar events.


Google audiobooks are available on Android and iOS phones, Chromecast, Android Wear devices, Google Home smart speakers, the web and most devices that support Google Assistant. You can play an audiobook on your home smart speaker, continue it in your car, and keep listening on your phone. You can’t buy audiobooks or listen to audiobook samples on your Google Home.

Other features

Audible Car Mode is a feature in the iOS/Android app that allows you to listen to audiobooks in your car by enabling the Car Mode and connecting via Bluetooth, AUX, and USB. Google’s support for Android Auto is coming soon which will allow you to listen while you drive.

WhisperSync is one of Amazon’s best features for both Audible and Kindle. If you have both the ebook and audiobook versions of a title, you can sync your place between them. You can switch between reading and listening with Whispersync for Voice with ease. Amazon Matchmaker can scan your Kindle library to find out which books have an audiobook counterpart. It will automatically scan your Kindle library, find any matching audiobooks, and show you the discounted price for each.

The most fantastic feature of Google audiobooks is the integration with Google Assistant, letting you read the book at any time you want via voice commands so that you can listen to the audiobook at 2x speed or set the sleep mode, and so on. With the Google Assistant interaction, you can ask for pertinent information about the book like the author’s name.

One of the things that sets Google’s offering apart from Amazon’s Audible is the family sharing feature. With Audible, you’re able to share an audiobook with one other adult in your Amazon Household. With Google, you can share with up to five other people in your family.

Google implemented a few updates to make it even easier to enjoy a great book. Click here to explore new Google Audiobook features on March 29, 2018.


Through the above comparison, we can see that Audible audiobook is superior to Google audiobook service in every respect. At least for now, Audible still takes the lead and pulls ahead of its contenders in audiobook market.

However, Audiobooks downloaded from Audible website are in the Amazon proprietary format AAX or AA. The Audible audiobooks are locked by DRM which prevents you from sharing your purchased audiobooks with your friends. Moreover, the DRMed Audible audiobook are confined to be played on selected Audible supported players or devices, so you can’t transfer them among multiple platforms and devices. Given the above situation, it’s imperative to remove Audible DRM and convert their formats to a universal audio format such as mp3, wma, wac, etc.

Epubor Audible Converter is a powerful tool dedicated to stripping DRM from your purchased Audible audiobooks and converting the AA and AAX formats to mp3 or other compatible DRM free formats.

You can download the software for free by clicking the links below. The trial version of Epubor Audible Converter can convert the first 3 minutes of an audiobook. If you want to decrypt and convert 100% contents of your Audible audiobooks, you need to upgrade Epubor Audible Converter to the paid version.

Epubor wants you to be satisfied with our products. If, for any reason, the software you receive does not meet your expectations, you can claim a refund within 30 days since you place the order. So why not give it a try? You’ve got nothing to lose.

Download Epubor Audible Converter for free



Sisi is a newbie who joined Epubor in November 2017. She's a bookworm her whole life and has taken great interest in eBooks recently. She learns professional knowledge about ebooks in Epubor and loves to share her know-how to all the ebook lovers!

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