Audiobook App Development | EightDevs Development Studio
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Audiobook App Development

  • Xenia Liashko
  • 2021-02-23 17:35:00

Progress and innovation are probably the most famous words of the 21st century. They determine our lives by bringing in the possibilities we have never had before and speeding up our lives tremendously.

The need to evolve urges us to absorb new information, and books are its ultimate source. However, reading is a time-consuming process that requires full attention and dedication. And, yep, you guessed it, nobody has time for that. That being said, the app for audiobooks comes in really handy as it allows you to read on the go whether you are heading to work, working out, or waiting in a line.

To listen to an audiobook, one needs to look out for book recommendations, search for download sites, download it and enjoy. Or get an application. With an audiobook app, you will be able to do it all on the go in one place. Besides, you will be able to have a virtual bookshelf and track your reading list progress. Personalized recommendations are another great feature that can take a lot of stress off one’s shoulders.

Audible is one of the biggest apps on the market, and it had over 50 million downloads on the Google Play Store. Last year their worldwide audience downloaded more than 1.6 billion hours of audio, and the numbers are still going up.

Did you ever wonder how to make an audiobook app? What challenges does this process bring? Let’s take a look at the example of Audible and other popular apps and find the answers.

Benefits of developing an audiobook application

The audiobook market in the US has been growing since 2018, and the trend is positive for the future. So the perspectives are endless.

Statista Audiobook sales revenue in the United States from 2018 to 2020


Why Audible and Audible-like apps are popular

The applications appear out of demand, and they become popular when the expectations of the users are exceeded. Amazon’s Audible is a perfect illustration of that principle. They provide a high-quality user experience and useful features, which puts them on top of the game in their business segment.

The Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) by Amazon is a marketplace that links authors, publishers, narrators, and rights holders together with the purpose of audiobooks creation. The existence of this platform and the easiness of the Audible app created favorable conditions for market growth.

Currently, the audiobook application area carries many potentials, so no wonder that many investors and development companies are looking into opportunities to join in and benefit from the growth of the market.

How does it work?

The impact Audible has on the audiobook app market is hard to overestimate. That is only emphasized because other brands widely use the business model chosen by Audible. Every other Audible alternative, such as, iTunes, and Downpour, works pretty much the same way.

Basically, it is a subscription type of service with a monthly or annual fee with standard 30 days free trial available. Once you are subscribed, you get access to over 200,000 items in their catalog. With your subscription, you can download 1 free book per month and get a 30% discount for additional downloads. According to statistics, a regular listener downloads around 17 books per year, making the plan very affordable.

Some alternative services start with an unlimited subscription to attract customers. They also transfer to 1 free book per month subscription model as it has proven to be more profitable.

Companies like Spotify and Playster provide free unlimited access to audiobooks they have with their premium subscription. And that is a serious competition to Audible’s business model. According to the information shared by Audible’s general manager, they are currently in search of an improvement for the existing model. They hope that the new one will allow them to expand their audience and reach an agreement with the content rights owners.

Dealing with right holders

As for the revenue of the rights owners, Audible suggests 40% for the content available exclusively on Audible and 25% for the content which is created via ACX and presented on Audible. Their main competitors provide the same rates for their service.

Although most audiobook apps provide flat 35% revenue, Audible is still highly appreciated by the publishers due to its sharing feature. It allows users to share downloaded books and pays the distribution fees to the rights owners. So each time somebody receives the book through sharing and listens to it, the owners earn money. This allows publishers to spread their content easier and get more profit.

When it comes to creating content, the services selling it have several requirements that the content has to fit into to be released. For example, there may be size/format limitations, background noise restrictions, or requirements to the chapter division's size for larger books. In case you are wondering where all that content is coming from, check out below.

Where to get them the content from?

This question may seem confusing at first sight. However, we have some good tips for you:

Actual books

First of all, you can wipe the dust off your microphone and create your own audiobooks. Or, perhaps, hire a few people who will work as voice artists for your own audiobook library. That sounds really interesting. However, it will most probably require a lot of time, money, and dedication to even get to the point where you will have a rich enough library to interest your potential audience.


In case you are less artistic and more practical, you might prefer using ACX, the marketplace we have mentioned earlier. It is a great platform that links all the people involved in the audiobook creation and release process. Another cool feature of ACX is distributing the end product directly to the desired destination, such as Audible, iTunes, and so on.


API is another great option for selling audiobooks. Instead of selling the content directly, some companies prefer to share it via an API link that provides a different control level over the product. A bright example of implementing this concept is Findaway, with a base of over 100,000 items and a large number of followers.

Additional content

A successful business strategy always satisfies the demand and goes the extra mile. So even if the app's primary goal is to sell subscriptions for audiobooks, supplementary functions should be on point as well. They should predict the needs of the clients before the clients even realize they have them. To achieve this effect, bookshelves were introduced, then personalized recommendations altogether with sharing options, offline download, customer reviews, podcasts, channels, etc.

How much does it cost to create an app for audiobooks?

In case you are tempted by the idea of audiobook app development, you are probably wondering how much it cost to create an app for audiobooks. The answer to this question is individual and is highly influenced by the project's complexity, time frame, development services choice, etc. If you are determined to start your own audiobook app, it is better to analyze the market and have interviews with several development companies that will estimate your requirements and give you an idea of the price range you are going for.

Also, you will need to keep in mind hosting services, the size of the library of want to start with, the cost of the usage of the audiobooks in your app.

The audiobook application market has a lot of potential for both investment and innovation. It is currently at its prime and can be very profitable financially with the idea's right execution. This article gives all the information needed to shape this idea of the desired app and its content. The only thing left is to bring it to life. And since there is no better time to do something, contact a professional development team and get one step closer to becoming a part of the audiobook future!