These two audiobook services couldn’t be more different: Libro FM vs Audible! Let’s see how they compare…
Audiobooks are a fantastic way to pass the time, whether you’re stuck in traffic or just looking for a way to relax and escape. Two of my favorite audiobook subscription services are Libro FM and Audible. Both have their pros and cons, so it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. Let’s compare these two audio memberships and see which one is the best fit for your needs!
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About Libro FM
Libro FM is not that well known yet, but this service has a lot of fans because it has so much going for it! One of the things I love about Libro FM is that they support local independent bookstores. When you sign up for Libro FM, you can choose from over 100 different independent bookstores to support. This is a great way to support your local community and get access to digital audiobooks at the same time!
Libro FM has a smaller selection of audiobooks than Audible and you might not find every title here that you are looking for. However, most traditionally published audiobooks are in the Libro FM catalog as well as many books by indie authors, including new releases. The Libro FM bookseller picks are my favorite curated lists and their recommendations match my interests much better than Audible’s.
You can try out Libro FM and get 2 audiobook credits in your trial month!**
Audible is the biggest audiobook market, and for good reason. They have a huge selection of books, which means you’re sure to find whatever you’re looking for. Audible also offers a variety of exclusive content that you can’t find anywhere else. And they have great customer support. However, one downside to Audible is that they are owned by Amazon. This means that Audible is part of a huge corporation that puts the bottom line far above anything else. Audible’s outstanding customer services are often paid for by audiobook creators, not by the huge company.
You can try out Audible in a free 30 day trial!**
Related article: What you Have to Know before Returning an Audible book
Libro FM vs Audible: Membership Benefits and Cost
Let’s take an even closer look at each service and compare the membership benefits and cost of Libro FM vs Audible.
The monthly membership with Libro FM costs $14.99 while Audible’s standard plan is $14.95 per month. Both subscriptions give you one credit per month for this fee that can be used to purchase any audiobook from their catalog regardless of list price. Audible also offers a two credits per month plan and you can choose to sign up for an annual membership, which significantly lowers the price per audiobook credit.
Audible subscribers get access to Audible Plus, a catalog of thousands of Audible-produced audiobooks that you can borrow for free. This is without a doubt the biggest membership perk any audiobook service has to offer! You can listen to as many free audiobooks per month as you like while your subscription is active.
Both stores offer a variety of sales events. Libro FM has the audiobook clubs** with a selection of Young Adult, Romance, and Children’s audiobooks that you can buy for $3.99 per audiobook. The selection in the clubs changes every month. They also have a sales section** with audiobooks from all genres.
Audible has the daily deal, as well as regular 2-for-1 sales and $5 sales with a selection of titles several times per year.
Libro FM’s biggest membership benefit is a bit more subtle than Audible’s. And that is that Libro FM audiobooks are DRM-free! This might not seem like a big deal. But one could argue that you don’t actually own your Audible audiobooks (which can seem like a pretty big deal once you think about it). When you buy a book in the Audible store, you can download it to your device, but Audible doesn’t actually guarantee that you can download it again in the future.
Screenshot from Audible Conditions of Use:
With Libro FM, you can download all titles in your library as MP3s and save them on a hard drive. No one can ever take these audiobooks from you! They are truly your property.
Libro FM vs Audible Apps
Both Libro FM and Audible have apps that are available on iOS and Android devices. The app experience is very similar on both platforms.
Audible has recently removed the option to buy audiobooks through the app because of the cut that Apple and Google take from in-app purchases. So, both audiobook stores require you to use a browser to browse and buy audiobooks. Both apps offer sleep timers and you can change the narration speed.
A very important difference is though, that as a Libro FM subscriber, you aren’t required to use the Libro FM app! If there is another app you prefer (for example Smart Audiobook Player) or if you like to use an older MP3 player, you can simply do that. It is entirely your choice.
With Audible, you have no choice but to use their app. And if it doesn’t run well on your device, there’s very little you can do other than getting a different device. On my Amazon Fire tablet, for example, the Audible app is horrible! It often has bugs and jumps back in the audiobook. And the sound quality is simply pitiful.
In the Libro FM app, you have to download the audiobook first before you can listen to it. That can be annoying. In the Audible app, you can start listening right away while the download completes in the background. However, the sound quality in Libro FM is very good and makes it worth the wait of a download (or just make sure the next audiobook is already lined up before the current one ends).
The apps of Libro FM vs Audible both have strengths and weaknesses. But overall, I prefer the Libro FM app. It has never let me down!
Libro FM vs Audible: Which One is Right for You?
So, which audiobook membership should you choose? That really depends on your personal needs and preferences. If you’re looking for the biggest selection of audiobooks possible and want to listen to several audiobooks per month, Audible is the way to go. However, if you’re trying to avoid supporting Amazon, Libro FM may be a better option. And if you want to make sure you actually own your audiobooks, Libro FM is the clear choice!
Personally, I use both services. Many of Audible’s exclusive productions are fun. And despite how huge a company they are, I still get the vibe that people there care about audiobooks. Nevertheless, I love the perks of Libro FM and being able to support indie bookstores while listening to digital audiobooks.
Whichever service you choose, I hope you enjoy your audiobooks!