Audiobooks.com cancels all-you-can-hear plan

The online audio book service has switched to a new, more limited subscription plan from the previous unlimited service.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Audiobooks.com has lowered its subscription price, but now you can listen to only one or two books per month.

The new plans offer two different options. You can pay $14.95 per month to listen to one audiobook or $22.95 each month to hear up to two books. Previously, the site charged people $24.95 per month but gave them the ability to listen to an unlimited number of audiobooks for that fee.

Why the change? A spokesman for Audiobooks.com sent CNET the following statement:

The switch from "all you can listen" to the new model wasn't an easy decision, but after researching audiobooks listener behaviors, it became clear that being able to offer one or two book options at a fraction of the cost would benefit both users of the service and make it more appealing to casual readers who may only have time for a book per month.

You can still choose from among more than 25,000 different titles and listen to them on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. The site offers dedicated iOS and Android apps. Through sync technology, you can listen to a book on one device and pick up where you left off on another.

To lure in new customers, Audiobooks.com has already kicked off a seven-day trial, which allows people to stream or download any one book for free.

How do Audiobook.com's plans now compare with those of competing services?

Audible.com offers the same prices. With a Gold membership plan, the site starts you off with one book for just $7.49 per month. After the first three months, you're charged $14.95 each month for one book or $22.95 a month for up to two books.

Simply Audiobooks charges $17.98 to rent a single book at a time and $26.98 to grab two books at a time. More plans are available at higher prices. The books are mailed to you on a disc, and you get a new book as soon as the company receives your current one. A download service is also available, which charges $14.95 a month for one credit (one book in most cases), $24.95 for two, and $31.95 for three.

 

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