Barnes and Noble has a new audiobook subscription plan. You can pay $14.99 per month and get an audiobook credit. This credit can be redeemed for one of their 200,000 audiobooks from major publishers. The audiobooks can be listened to on the Nook app for Android, iOS or the web player. They are currently offering a free 30 day trial, which you get one free audiobook.
Barnes and Noble has recently revised their entire audiobook experience. They used to have a dedicated Nook audiobooks app and a dedicated audiobook website. These two things have been completely shuttered. The entire audiobook experience is now on their main Barnes and Noble website. They have a new dedicated audiobook landing page where you can view and search for audiobook specific tiles. For customers who normally just visit the website and search for books, you will now pull up a singular listing for print, ebook and now audiobooks.
The new Barnes and Noble subscription system is being heavily promoted on the audiobook landing page. Each entry has a free option and gives some brief information and a link to find out more information. One of the big advantages of the platform is being able to save money. The average audiobook from a major publisher ranges from $15 to $40, so the monthly fee of $14.99 will provide a ton of value. On the downside, they only have the one subscription option right now, and do not offer a higher tier that offers multiple credits. They also are not leveraging Bluetooth on their Nook e-readers to offer audiobooks. This is a weird decision, because they pay Google a fee for every audiobook sold, whereas content sold on the Nook e-reader would be pure profit on each title, with no extra fees.
I think Barnes and Noble getting seriously invested into audiobooks is very positive. There are not very many options for US customers. Amazon Prime Reading, Kindle Unlimited, Audible, Scribd and Kobo all have their own subscription system, but most people are only aware of Audible. Barnes and Noble is in a great position to leverage their website and bookstores to get more customers to subscribe, while all of their competition is entirely online.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.