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Business Operations Business Models

How Does Audible Make Money (Business and Revenue Model)

The Audible business model

How Does Audible Make Money?
Here’s what you should know:
  • What is Audible, and how does Audible work?
  • How does Audible make money?
  • Subscription Revenue (Audible Plus)
  • Direct Sales (Without A Subscription)
  • Audible Subsidiaries, Acquisitions, and Exits
  • Audible profit and revenue
  • What is the Audible business and revenue model?
  • Audible funding and valuation

How does Audible make money? Here is a full, in depth, breakdown of their two (2) revenue streams and the different products and services they offer, as well as the Audible business model, their profit and revenue, and how Audible works.

What is Audible, and how does Audible work?

Audible is an online audiobook and podcast service that allows users to purchase and or stream content.

Founded in 1995 by Don Katz, Audible began trading on the NASDAQ in July 1999, under the ticker symbol “ADBL” before later delisting after Amazon completed its acquisition of the company on March 19, 2008.

Since that time, Audible now has a reported 300,000+ audiobooks and podcasts available for listening on its platform.

How does Audible work? To stream Audible content, users must first either get a subscription or sign up for a free trial. They can do this by heading over to their website or by downloading their mobile app on the Apple Store or Google Play store.

Once signed up, they can search from Audible Plus’ catalog of more than 11,000 titles and or purchase titles that aren’t a part of Plus by using credits. They can then add these titles to their Audible library and find them in there for future listening and or download.

Some of Audible’s competitors include Spotify, Storytel, Google Play Books, Hoopla, and other companies that offer audiobooks and podcasts to listen to.

Audible App in Apple App Store | Audible Business Model | How Does Audible Make Money? | How Does Audible Work?
Source: Apple App Store | Audible

How does Audible make money?

According to reports, Audible has a total of 300,000+ audiobooks and podcasts listed on its platform.

So how does Audible make money off of all these titles?

Below is a breakdown of how much money Audible makes and its revenue model. Including all revenue streams and how much they charge for their services.

Here are the 2 ways of how Audible makes money (in 2022):

Audible has a revenue model that makes money in two (2) ways; through subscription revenue (Audible Plus) and direct sales.

#1. Subscription Revenue (Audible Plus)

Audible makes the majority of all its money from its subscription service, Audible Plus.

The subscription service offers three (3) paid tiers; Audible Plus, Audible Premium Plus (+1 credit), and Audible Premium Plus (+2 credits). All of which give access to a catalog of over 68,000 hours of content and more than 11,000 titles to listen to.

So, what are Audible credits? These are what members receive with their monthly subscription plan. How many they receive depends on the plan they chose and can be used to purchase any audio selection in their catalog, regardless of price.

Audible Subscription Cost:

  • $7.95 to $22.95 per month depending on the plan
Audible Subscription Cost | Audible Business Model | How Does Audible Make Money? | How Does Audible Work?
Source: Audible

Note: Audible upsells its users with credits because most titles can be much more expensive if purchased outright without them. Which we talk about below.

#2. Direct Sales (Without A Subscription)

For users who don’t want a subscription, Audible also makes money by selling audiobooks and podcasts direct to customers.

While Audible Plus gives its members access to a catalog of over 11,000 titles to listen to; there are more than 300,000 titles listed on the Audible marketplace in total.

And they can only be listened to with Audible Credits paid for with their subscription membership or if purchased directly, which can cost anywhere between a few dollars to $50+ depending on the title and narrator.

Audible cost without a subscription | Audible Business Model | How Does Audible Make Money? | How Does Audible Work?
Source: Audible

Audible Subsidiaries, Acquisitions, and Exits

To date, Audible, Inc. has made a total of 1 investment.

Audible profit and revenue

Audible has not released any official reports in regards to company earnings.

Note: Because Amazon.com, Inc., the parent company of Audible, is a publicly traded company, under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, they must file continuous financial filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). You can find all of Amazon’s publicly released financial reports, including annual reports, through Amazon’s investor section on their website.

What is the Audible business and revenue model?

Audible makes money through a few revenue models that they combine within their company, they are:

  • Subscription business model
  • Transaction based business model
  • Upselling revenue model

Audible funding and valuation

According to Audible’s Crunchbase profile, Audible has raised $14.5 million over 4 rounds.

On March 19, 2008, Audible was acquired by Amazon for roughly $300 million, per reports.