Bookbeat is an unlimited subscription service for audiobooks. They primarily operate in Europe and the majority of their customers are located in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. It costs £12.90 per month to subscribe and unlike Scribd, they do not throttle their users if they read too many books or listen to a copious number of audiobooks. Audible issues credits for subscribers, and the amount of credits depends on how many audiobooks you want to listen to each month. Bookbeat does not have a credit system, they are truly unlimited, with no restrictions.
The company launched in 2015 when Bonnier Books – one of Europe’s leading publishing companies – gathered a team of digital innovators and literature lovers to create a market leading service for digital books. They got out of the ebook game fairly quickly, and instead pivoted their business to focus exclusively on audiobooks.
There are a few different ways to access Bookbeat content. They have a website for people to register accounts, pay for access and get customer support, but they do not have an online audiobook player. In order to listen to audiobooks you need to download the Bookbeat app for Android or iOS. It is important to note that all of Bookbeats content is streamed, so it is impossible to download anything locally.
Bookbeat has a ton of great content from all of the major publishers. This gives users access all of the modern bestsellers such as A.J. Finn, George R.R. Martin, Satya Nadella, Karin Slaughter and many more. They basically have everything on the New York Times Best Seller list and Sunday Times Bestseller list.
One of the downsides of Bookbeat is they only operate in a few specific countries and they need a local billing address and credit card to register an account and pay the subscription fee. This prevents people in Canada or the United States from using the service. Bookbeat did this because of licensing agreements with their publishing partners.
Bookbeat flies under the radar and they do not really promote themselves. Still, if you live in the United Kingdom it makes more sense to subscribe to Bookbeat than Scribd or Audible.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.