Audiobookstore is a discount-based membership plan, much like AudiobooksNow (opens in new tab). When you enroll, you get your first audiobook for $7.95 and that also pays for the first month of membership. After that, the $7.95 monthly fee for Flexpass gives you access to discount prices on all audiobooks in store. While it's a good idea in theory, we found that the discount pricing model has a significantly higher average cost per title than those with monthly credit-based memberships, like Audible (opens in new tab) and Audiobooks.com (opens in new tab). As such, AudiobookStore doesn't make it into our list of the best audiobook services (opens in new tab) for 2020.
While Audiobookstore advertises that 90% of its books cost less than $12.95, when we looked for new and popular titles from 2019 onwards on the site, we found the average price was about $17. When you add in the monthly fee, and if you only buy one book each month, the average shoots up to around $22.50, which is one of the higher prices per audiobook we saw. Keep mind that we looked specifically at the prices of new and popular releases to find the average price, so our data doesn’t mean there aren’t bargains on the site. If you have the time to search for them and aren’t very selective about what you listen to next, you can likely find some good deals.
Audiobookstore has an average-sized library compared to other services – it has 85,000 titles on its site, which is a decent number, although a long way from the 200,000+ on Audible. Even though it isn't quite as large, AudiobookStore does stock a lot of new and popular bestsellers. When we looked for the titles on our list, we found that 70% of them were available on the site, which is about the same or better than some of our top picks.
Another upside to AudiobookStore is that all its titles are Digital Rights Management Free. Digital Rights Management, or DRM, prevents users from sharing audio book files, but if you download a book from Audiobookstore, you can listen to it on any device you’d like. You can listen to your library on the web, and the store offers recommendations for your next book. However, you can’t purchase new books from the app, which is a letdown if you finish listening to one on the go.
In the app, the Current Audio Book tab has some narration control options, such as a sleep timer and variable playback speed, and you can find them by clicking on the Settings button. These tools were easier to find in Audiobookstore's app than those for a lot of other services we tested. However, the app isn’t as customizable as others, which may be a problem if you have specific audiobook listening habits.
One thing we really appreciate is the 'Love It' guarantee that the store has, which allows you to exchange books for free, regardless of your reason. It's similar to what Audible offers, and it really takes the sting out of trying out new books.
Audiobookstore has a FAQs page with a search bar, which is a useful feature when you’re trying to quickly find answers to your questions. The FAQs page is very similar to those on many of the other sites we reviewed, but it would be better if it had more substantial information, especially since the site doesn’t offer phone or live chat support. The service’s email support is reliable, though.
If you're looking to find a site where you pay for discounts, and spend your time checking out deals on audiobooks, we'd probably recommend AudiobookStore over AudiobooksNow, but there's little difference. For most users, a membership model that grants you free books each month is a better option, so we'd recommend Audible instead. And if you want to buy extra books at the best prices, the Google Play Book store and the Nook (opens in new tab) stores are worth looking at.