Audible Plus and Audible Premium Plus subscriptions differ in which audiobooks you can stream and which can be yours forever.
If you are confused with new Audible subscription and how it relates to the old one, we’ve got a simplified comparison that will help you quickly spot major benefits and differences.
With the introduction of a new Plus membership, Audible company is trying to upgrade an old-fashioned subscription model, offered via Gold membership, that’s based on exchanging monthly credits for audiobooks that you can own forever.
The new Audible Plus subscription is like Kindle Unlimited for audiobooks. For $7.95 a month (half the price of Gold plan), you get unlimited access to a catalog of eligible audiobooks, you can stream them or download for offline use on your smartphone or tablet – but you lose them all once you cancel the subscription.
With the introduction of a new subscription plan, Audible is remodeling the entire ecosystem, and users will need some time to make up their minds which subscription plan suits them more.
Let’s now quickly define two current Audible membership plans. They are called Audible Plus and Audible Premium Plus. The “plus” component means streaming, while the “premium” component means credits.
- Audible Plus (streaming only) – a new Kindle Unlimited like subscription plan introduced in August 2020. It gives unlimited access to audiobooks from Plus Catalog, which includes over 10,000 audio publications. You lose access to audiobooks when you cancel the subscription. Monthly fee: $7.95.
- Audible Premium Plus (streaming + credits) – an old credit-based subscription formerly known as Gold / Platinum membership. The subscription includes two elements: unlimited access to Plus Catalog, plus credits that you can exchange for audiobooks from Premium catalog. Monthly fee: $14.95 (1 credit), $22.95 (2 credits).
With the introduction of Audible Plus, the company is splitting the catalog of audiobooks into two parts:
- Plus catalog – select audiobooks, Audible originals, podcasts that you can stream and download, but not own forever. Available for Audible Plus and Audible Premium Plus subscribers. Non-members can buy them at a regular price.
- Premium catalog — all other audiobooks. Available for Audible Premium Plus subscribers to exchange for credits. Non-members and Plus subscribers can buy them at a regular price.
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Current Audible subscription plans
Many audiobook fans get excited about the new subscription because it gives unlimited access and it’s twice cheaper than Gold membership.
The new subscription comes with one major drawback: a limited number of eligible audiobooks. Yes, you get unlimited access, but not to the entire Audible catalog (which currently includes almost 500,000 titles), but to the audio files in the Audible Plus catalog.
How many audiobooks are included in Audible Plus catalog? It’s over 11,000 titles, and 68,000 hours of listening: Audible Originals, documentaries, comedy, and journalism.
If you are not signed up to Audible, you can still see Audible Plus catalog on Amazon. And when you get there, you will realize that hot new full-length audiobooks are not included. The list is dominated by short-form Originals and audiobook produced by Audible, such as audio versions of classic books.
In other words, if you have Audible Plus membership, you won’t be able to listen within your subscription to the latest audiobook of Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer because this audiobook is not included in Audible Plus catalog.
Membership plan: Audible Plus
Number of eligible books: over 11,000 in Plus catalog
Owning books forever: No
Monthly fee: $7.95
Audible Premium Plus
Audible Premium Plus is a new name for old membership plans: Gold and Platinum. Now they differ in how many credits you get per month.
Audible Premium Plus rebranding was made to give space to Audible Plus, and to introduce Plus catalog, but it’s basically the same membership – every month you get a credit or two credits that you can exchange for any audiobook from the entire Audible catalog.
In other words, Premium Plus, gives you access to:
- Plus catalog – you can stream audiobook files just like Plus members do. Includes over 11,000 titles.
- Premium catalog – it basically includes the rest of entire Audible catalog. You can exchange credits you get every month (one or two) for any audiobook, no matter its worth. Includes almost 500,000 titles.
The Premium catalog can’t be accessed by Plus members. If you are a Plus member and would like to listen to any audiobook from outside Plus catalog, you will have to buy it.
Membership plan: Audible Premium Plus
Number of eligible books: over 11,000 in Plus catalog and almost 500,000 in Premium catalog
Credits: Yes, 1 or 2 per month
Owning books forever: Yes
Monthly fee: $14.95 (1 credit), $22.95 (2 credits)
Audible subscription plans compared
Let’s take a side-by-side look at the current Audible membership plans. Are you going to stay with Premium Plus (former Gold) or give a try to Plus?
Audible Plus vs. Audible Premium Plus
|Access to Plus catalog||Yes||Yes|
|Access to Premium catalog||No||Yes|
|Number of eligible books||Over 11,000||Almost 500,000|
|Own books forever||No||Yes|
Audible membership plans – which one to choose?
Do you wonder which Audible plan will suit you more? Besides defining your needs, it’s worth taking into consideration how the new Audible subscription ecosystem works.
Audible Plus ($7.95 per month) is a new membership model similar to Netflix or Kindle Unlimited – you listen to anything in the Plus catalog but only when you are subscribed. When your subscription ends, all Plus audiobooks are being removed from your account, and you can’t download new ones.
Audible Premium Plus ($14.95 or $22.95 per month – former Gold and Platinum plans) adds a well-known feature – credits. Every month you can exchange one or two received credits for any audiobook that’s not included in the Plus catalog. You own this audiobook forever. We are talking about well over 450,000 Premium titles.
With the launch of Audible Plus, Gold – and now Premium Plus – subscribers no longer need to waste their credits for audiobooks that cost $5 or $10. These audiobooks are included in the Plus catalog, and you have unlimited access to them. Instead, you can exchange your Premium Plus credits for hot new audiobook bestsellers that cost over $30, so you save over $15 every month.
Choose Audible Plus…
If you discover many interesting audiobooks and podcasts in the Plus catalog, you don’t have to choose the other plan – Audible Plus is just for you.
Keep in mind that you can always buy any non-Plus audiobook, and you don’t always have to pay a regular price. It’s a question of following Audible deals to spot discounts on titles that you would like to listen to.
Choose Audible Premium Plus…
This plan is for everyone who can’t find enough interesting titles in the Plus catalog.
On top of that, you will most probably choose this plan if you are eager to actually own audiobooks not rent them.
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