Let’s be honest, if you like audiobooks, Audible is one of the most popular audiobook services you hear about. In recent years though, “the world’s largest producer and provider of original spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks” has seen some serious competition from other audiobook services like Downpour, Audiobooks.com, Kobo and AllYouCanBooks.
In this article, we take a look at Downpour Audiobooks and how it compares to Audible in the following areas:
- Sign up and Cost
- Return Policy
Downpour Audiobooks review
1. Sign up and Cost
Downpour Audiobooks does not offer a 30 day free trial like other audiobook services. However, they do allow you to purchase a digital download, CD, MP3CD, or digital rental without signing up for a Downpour Audiobook Club membership. All you need is a valid customer account.
Membership to Downpour Audiobooks is completely optional and costs $12.99 per month. This makes it $2 cheaper than Audible. Also, you can cancel your subscription at any time and you will still have access to all titles purchased during your subscription.
Downpour Audiobooks also launched it’s digital rental service back in 2014 which allows users to rent an audiobook at a lesser cost instead of purchasing. This means you can just rent an audiobook like you would rent a movie. A bonus to rentals is you can free up space on your device “return” the audiobook and download another one. Rental periods for audiobooks vary and can be anywhere between 30-60 days. This is not part of your monthly subscription though – so you cannot use your credits to rent an audiobook.
Similar to Audibles Gold membership, the Downpour Audiobooks monthly subscription plan automatically adds one credit to your account each month. Any unused credits will roll over to the next month and any unused credits will expire 12 months after they were added.
If you need more credits, they can be easily purchased at any time for an additional $12.99. This is a pretty good deal compared to Audible. You are only allowed to purchase extra credits on Audible if there are available offers or if you have one of the higher subscription packages (Gold or Platinum) for more than 30 days.
Worth noting here is that approximately 97% of the Downpour Audiobooks library cost just one credit. So you don’t have to worry about saving up credits for too many months for an audiobook purchase.
The Downpour Audiobook library is not as extensive as Audible’s but it is still quite impressive. It contains a mix of both classics as well as current popular new releases. Also, as Blackstone Audio (the company that owns Downpour) started publishing print books in 2016, Downpour audiobook users often have access to these books earlier than other services.
The Downpour library is also separated into several categories which makes looking for content easier for users. With over 30000 titles currently, Downpour Audiobooks add thousands of new titles every month making their content desirable amongst audiobook users.
Downpour Audiobook’s content can be used across all iOS and Android devices, and any desktop that has an internet connection.
What’s great from Downpour is that their audiobooks are DRM (digital rights management) free, unlike a lot of Audible’s titles. This means that you can enjoy it on any audiobook player and transfer it to any device without restriction.
In addition, you can choose to download your book in M4B format, MP3 format or both depending on the device you want to listen on and you can do so on an unlimited number of devices. Score!
5. Return Policy
Audiobooks cannot be returned after purchase unless there is a problem with the purchase.
If you have a problem with your purchased audiobook, you will have to contact the Downpour Audiobook customer care line within 30 days of your purchase to arrange a return or exchange “if appropriate”. This means, only if there is a technical error.
This is unlike Audible’s Great Listener Guarantee which allows you to return an audiobook if you did not enjoy it up to 12 months after its purchase.
Downpour Audiobooks vs. Audible
We have a detailed Audible review available for you to check out if you would like to know more about the specifics of the audiobook service.
For the purpose of this article, I’ve summarised the main differences into a handy table that will enable us to compare both services.
|Audiobooks per month||1||3(2 original Audible Originals)|
|Do I get to keep the Audiobooks?||✔||✔|
|Easy additional credit purchase||✔||✖|
|Content||30K + audiobooks||200K + audiobooks and podcasts with exclusive Amazon Audible content|
|Compatibility||iPhone, Android, PC, Kindle, Nook||iPhone, Android, PC, TV, Alexa, Kindle, Fire TV and smart speaker compatible (Alexa)|
|App Store Rating||4.1||4.5|
|Current number of users worldwide||100K+||100M+|
In conclusion, although Audible is a popular choice amongst audiobook users, Downpour Audiobooks is quite attractive – especially if you consider their audiobook rental option. At the end of the day, it will all come down to your preference and budget. You can take a look at our reviews of other services like Audiobooks.com, AllYouCanBooks, Scribd and Kobo to get a better understanding of what’s out there.