Scribd vs Audible: Which One Is Better? – Pros & Cons [2023]

scribd vs audible
scribd vs audible

Both Scribd and Audible are very popular services. But what’s the difference between Scribd vs Audible? In this post, we’ll give you the answer.

Scribd was founded in 2005 by its current CEO, Ted Forstmann. Audible was founded in 2006 by current CEO, Jason Castro.

Scribd’s mission is to unlock the world’s book content through reading. Audible’s mission is to unlock the world’s spoken content through listening.

Both of them provide online book lending, e-book lending, streaming audio books, and audiobook lending.

What is Scribd?


Scribd is a premium audiobook streaming service. It was started in 2009 by a US based independent entrepreneur, Ben Tran and currently has 8 million users in over 200 countries. It is also the first media service that allows users to read long-form audio content. It supports all popular ebook formats and even audiobooks. The main website is also very well designed and has many useful articles and tools which will help you find the best books for you.

The subscription costs $8.99 per month and allows unlimited downloads. It provides numerous mobile apps which you can use for listening on your phone. However, you need to go through the content page where you can listen to the entire book within 30 days or can only listen to a few chapters each week. This is the main difference between the two services, but overall, both provide what they promised to you.

What is Audible?


Audible is a digital audiobook service that provides both the website to stream content and the app to play it. The service provides you with the opportunity to listen to your favorite books, while you can also hear some outstanding documentaries, comedy shows, and audiobooks on demand.

Unlike most online services, Audible allows you to set a monthly fee and be eligible for discounts depending on the number of titles you have in your account.

Key Difference between Scribd vs Audible

I know what you’re thinking: it’s not a fair fight. But, I’m going to level the playing field and show you why Scribd is better than Audible.

With the end of the century, books were not distributed or stored in electronic formats. Most of the books were distributed or saved as paper. There was nothing wrong with it, but it was very expensive. Also, it was difficult to store or preserve the books as the storage units were very expensive.

During the last decade, this issue was solved by electronic technology. E-books became available and more people started purchasing them. There are thousands of books available in e-book format. The ebook had more benefits than the printed one.

One of the most important things about electronic books is that you can read them anywhere. You can carry them on a laptop or a tablet. There are also smartphones that can be connected to electronic books.

But there are issues with these devices.

You may be traveling or visiting somewhere far away. It is hard to carry a tablet or smartphone while traveling. You also need a power socket to charge the phone and tablet, which means that you need to take it with you. Also, you need to find a power outlet where you can charge it.

But you need a subscription to listen to audiobooks.

Although I am not the biggest fan of audiobooks, I can tell you that Scribd and Audible are different. Both of them are trying to solve the same problem but in a different way.

Downloads & Speed

This is the first difference I want to tell you about.

The main difference here is the speed of reading. If you have already heard or read about it, you will know what I am going to say next.

Audible has one of the best services out there for audiobooks. It lets you listen to audiobooks and podcasts from any device, not only from the computer or smartphone. You can listen to the book on a phone, tablet, laptop or any other device with audio input.

You can download the audiobooks at any time. You don’t need to wait for the publishers’ convenience. All you need to do is to sign up for a free trial and download the audiobook.

The audiobook experience on the Scribd website is not as good as it is on Audible. The audio is not as clear as Audible. When I started listening to the audiobook on the Scribd website, I didn’t know where I was. At times, I started reading on the wrong place. So, the story started going to the wrong place and it was a long, frustrating experience.

The other problem was the speed.

When you listen to an audiobook on the Scribd website, it usually takes me 20-30 minutes to read a chapter. With Audible, it is pretty fast and I can listen to an audiobook in a few minutes. It feels like I can hear the words that I am reading. But on the Scribd website, I can’t say the same thing. I might miss a word or two that I can’t hear when I listen to it on Audible.

Finding the book

This is the second difference that I want to tell you.

The way I found the book on Audible is amazing. It has the perfect reading speed, free book recommendations and some helpful features. With the help of this website, I was able to find the book I was looking for.

However, Scribd doesn’t offer such features.

If you are looking for a new audiobook, you will find a huge amount of books available for you to choose from. You can read a preview of each book.

It has some of the best writing features. It helps you to see which book is similar to the book you are reading now.

The most annoying part about the book-finding feature is that it is not as detailed as Audible. This means you can only read the book titles, descriptions and rating. You won’t be able to see the cover or any other interesting details. This is the worst part because you can easily miss out on the right audiobook.


Now, let’s talk about the money.

The first thing you will want to consider is the price.

Audible has an awesome subscription service. With the subscription, you can download your favorite book without worrying about the payment. All you need to do is to purchase an e-book from Amazon. Once you download the e-book, you can start reading the book. If you cancel the subscription, you can’t access any of the books.

But with Scribd, the monthly subscription fee is pretty expensive. I think the price is fair. You pay $8.99 per month and get access to unlimited downloads.

Audible offers one-month free trial. But if you continue to subscribe, you won’t get any benefits. The disadvantage of the monthly subscription fee is that it isn’t as cost-effective as it sounds.

Scribd Pros & Cons

Scribd Pros

  1. Streamlined interface
  2. Easily readable
  3. Well designed
  4. Has many well-known publishers
  5. It can be accessed for free
  6. Supports almost all ebook formats
  7. Can be customized / Can be changed from a layout perspective

Many of the most popular things you can do with Scribd are already built in. For example, you can “like” or “dislike” posts, click through to similar posts, or you can comment on a post. For those who don’t know how to use Scribd, the site’s interface is quite intuitive.

One major difference between Scribd and other ebook sites like Amazon, Apple Books, Google Play Books, and BN is that you don’t need to register. This is a benefit for beginners, but it does come with some drawbacks. For example, if you want to post, like, or comment, you have to log into your email. Also, Scribd does not support Kindle, Kobo, Sony, or iBooks.
Scribd Cons:

  1. Limited library
  2. No Kindle, Kobo, Sony, or iBooks support

Audible Pros & Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons for Audible, as a service for reading your favorite books.
Audible Pros:

  1. Top Quality Audiobook Content – The quality of the audiobook content provided by Audible has always been a positive factor.
  2. With 5 million members already signed up, you will easily find great deals on the products that you want to purchase.
  3. You can choose the books that you want to read from among a vast selection.
  4. Audible allows its subscribers to purchase and download audiobooks.
  5. If you have purchased books and can’t wait to listen to them, you can have them immediately downloaded to your phone.
  6. If you are looking for audiobooks that will satisfy your taste, you will have a hard time finding better content anywhere.
  7. Audible Customer Support – If you want a service with complete customer support, then you have to look no further than Audible. The staff will be on standby to assist you in any way they can, day or night. As much as you want, you can still get the help that you need, even if it is just to solve your technical problems with your book subscriptions or other problems.
  8. Your most valuable purchases will be protected from outside unauthorized access. Since you can’t get this kind of safety with any other book-sharing platform, Audible is the only option.
  9. Available in 25 languages, the library can be browsed easily through an easy-to-use interface.
  10. One of the best things that you will get is the benefit of free shipping from Audible.
  11. Save as much as 80% on the list prices for most titles.
  12. You can read books on most devices, including tablets, smartphones, and computers.
  13. All your audiobooks are added to your personal Audible library so that you will be able to access them from any device that you have.
  14. You can log in to your accounts on various devices and can enjoy the contents of your audiobook library as if it is on a single device.
  15. Audible is compatible with a variety of devices and operating systems.

Audible Cons:

  1. However, the biggest flaw with Audible is its price. They cost quite a lot of money, and you will have to fork out $289.99 for an annual subscription.
  2. There are no free audiobooks or books without a limitation, unlike other platforms.
  3. There are two forms of payments available to you: They allow you to subscribe to a monthly plan or a yearly plan, depending on the subscription length you choose.
  4. It would be even better if there are more categories available so that you can quickly locate a book you want to read.

Audible vs. Scribd – Verdict

Both of the services provide some benefits, but the monthly fee is pretty pricey. You can always buy e-books and listen to them on your mobile devices.

I think Scribd is better than Audible. I have already mentioned some disadvantages of the Audible.

Also, I prefer the interface of Scribd.

The book descriptions on Audible are very detailed and helpful. When I am searching for a book, I usually look for some clues. If there is a strong similarity between the book I am searching for and the book I have already listened to, the text description will help me find the perfect book. The problem is, the text description is not available on the Scribd website.

So, if you are someone who doesn’t want to look for any clues, you should consider paying for the subscription service.

The other disadvantage is the overall usability.

If you are not familiar with e-book subscription services, you will need to take a lot of steps to sign up and cancel the service.

The last thing I want to mention is that Audible is missing some basic features. For example, you can’t listen to audiobooks in offline mode. You can only listen to it when you are connected to the internet. If you want to listen to the audiobook on your mobile device, you will need to download the book again and transfer it to your phone. You won’t be able to skip chapters and listen to a certain part of the audiobook. This is the worst part of the audiobook experience with Audible. You can’t make any changes in the reading speed.