Using price data of nearly 200 audiobooks, we can calculate the cash value of an Audible credit. I suggest that’s the average cost-per-minute of audiobooks multiplied by the average duration of a book in Audible’s collection. If you trade your one monthly credit for only books that cost more than that total, then you’re beating the market rate.
At the time of writing, there are 178 Audible books in Geek Native’s price database.
This database will grow over time, so the figures in the widgets will change. The numbers might stop matching the text of this post but, right now, a credit at Audible is worth £25.50. The average price of a book is £20.24, and the average length is 15.89 hours.
So, you can trade a credit token for a book that costs more than £20.24, and you know you’re getting good value from that deal. However, if you only trade your tokens for audiobooks that cost more than £25.50, you know you’re also beating the cost-per-minute market rate too.
The widget also highlights an interesting fact. The value of a credit token raises to £30.13 if you restrict your interests to Sci-Fi & Fantasy. That is to say; books filed in the Sci-Fi & Fantasy genre section of Audible’s library.
Audible costs £7.99 a month and the first month can be free. If you stick just to Sci-Fi and Fantasy genre purchases and only spend your credit on books that cost at least £30.13, then you’re beating Audible’s pricing system by £273.67 a year.
How does an Audible subscription work?
You pay a flat monthly rate like Netflix or Spotify, but you do not have unlimited access during the month. You get one credit. Precisely one.
You can trade that one credit for any title you want. That Audible title might cost a few quid and be ten minutes of Warhammer lore, or it might be several days of back to back Sherlock Holmes stories. You can also spend money to buy an audiobook. It is your call. Spend or save you credit. Spend or save your cash.
So, should you use cash or a credit token on a new book? Previously I had suggested it was an easy decision; spend credit tokens on expensive books, cash on low-cost audiobooks. However, my Warhammer research unearthed some interesting discoveries – audiobooks less than an hour long.
This means that some audiobooks appear to be low cost but are actually more expensive on a pence-per-minute rate than the average. They tend to be the shorter ones.
Charting the cost of audiobooks
Another way to look at the data is to plot it onto a scatter chart. In this dynamic diagram, you can see all the books in Geek Native’s price and duration database, and you can filter by genre.
The chart reveals outriders like The of Art of War, which is a relatively short audiobook costing £8.04 and that gives it the 12p per minute rate. On the other hand, Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection has a high asking price at nearly £70, but that’s a low-average 2p per minute.
Plans for this data
The data in this article is accurate at the time of writing. However, over time the database of audiobooks will grow. In particular, for a separate project, there are some 766+ hours of Warhammer data that could be added in and which is likely to affect these calculations.
The initial dataset came from the best sellers in the categories of Comedy, History, Crime & Thriller as well as Fantasy & Sci-Fi.
Free Audiobooks have been removed from this database as they are not part of the cost equation. It is also recognised that Audible likely applies dynamic pricing.
Are you an Audible subscriber? What’s your strategy for spending (or saving) your monthly credit?