AudiobooksNow is a hybrid audiobook site that mixes a monthly fee with regular online shopping. It's a little like Costco - you pay a small membership fee to get big discounts on audiobooks, but you can also opt to pay full price if you don't want to sign up. You get one free premium audiobook when you sign up and then a 50% discount on the first book you buy each month. If you purchase another book during the same month, the discount goes down to between 30 and 40%. It's a reasonable idea, but the site doesn't place on our round-up of the best audiobook services.
An AudiobooksNow membership can get you some good deals if you have the time and inclination to shop the site extensively. The service only really works if you’re not too selective when adding audiobooks to your library. Usually, most will pick their next book based on recommendations from friends, family and trusted reviewers, regardless of price. However, many love a bargain, and will enjoy browsing through AudiobooksNow.
Prices here are some of the cheapest available, though only by a small margin. But, while the membership fee is a low $4.99 a month, it doesn’t include any books, unlike a credit-system membership like Audible. As such, you have to add the membership fee to the price of the first book you buy per month, which shoots the average up nearly $5.
AudiobooksNow also only hosts around 80,000 books, which is less than half of what Audible and Audiobooks.com keeps in stock. Also, when we searched for popular titles from 2019, we only found about 75% of the books on our list - not the highest or lowest out of the providers we reviewed.
Each book has a product page that includes other recommendations and reader reviews, which can help you decide if you want to add the title to your collection. One of the benefits of AudiobooksNow’s smaller library is that a lot the books don’t have Digital Rights Management (DRM) protections on them, so you can share them and listen to them on as many devices as you want.
You can browse for new books in the app, which makes it easy to download your next selection. However, the playback page is a little cluttered; we like the more streamlined look of Audiobooks.com and Audible’s apps. Still, it has all the playback features you look for, including variable playback speed and jump length, which gives you control over your listening experience. These features are found right on the app’s player, so you don’t have to search for them in other menus. You can also choose between streaming the audio book or downloading the audio files to the app. In addition, you can listen to your books from the service’s webpage.
You can reach customer support by telephone during normal business hours (EST) as well as by email, and service representatives are quick to respond. As with several of the services we researched, AudiobooksNow.com’s FAQs page isn’t extensive, but it has a search bar to help you find quick answers.
If you have time on your hands and enjoy shopping for a good bargain, you may enjoy a service like AudiobooksNow where you pay a fee to access books at discounted prices. Still, while the site is well-maintained and has decent customer support, we still think that credit-based memberships, such as Audible or Downpour, or streaming rental services like Scribd are a better value.