How Does Rent Audiobooks Model Work? Top Companies And Book Reviews in 2024

Audiobook rentals can be a great alternative to buying audiobooks. Many plans work in a similar way to Netflix and there is a wide range of rental options available.

Audiobooks have been around since the 1930s, at which time they were recorded by amateur volunteers and distributed to people who were blind. Then in the 1970s Books on Tape gained popularity. Now, the industry has moved from volunteers to professional readers and actors, who bring the characters to life. With the advent of CDs, audiobooks leaped into popularity. Now you can stream your favorite book via app players, sales have increased dramatically.

Audiobook rentals can be a convenient way to enjoy a wide range of audiobooks at home. Audiobook rental plans offer audiobook listeners the opportunity to rent audiobooks covering many different genres, including the latest bestsellers through to much-loved classics.

What are AudioBook Rentals?

Many audiobook rentals work in the same way as Netflix, the online movie rental service. Most of the time listeners get unlimited access to the audiobooks library and they would choose what they like to listen to. As part of the audiobook rental plan, some books might be unavailable due to the high demand as audiobooks on the list become free, notifications are sent to the listener about availability. Many plans have no time limit and people can enjoy listening to the audiobook at their leisure before. Returning the book is not necessary anymore. Audiobook rentals are usually included in audiobook monthly/ yearly membership.

Img source:

How does AudioBooks membership work?

Most standard audiobook rental plans involve audiobooks being received through the app or pc. No need for returning it, auudiobooks is yours untill you cancel the membership. New books are often added to the digital library. This means that there can be a delay in receiving new books if the demand is high. Many audio rentals providers offer different audiobook rental plans.

Benefits of Renting Audio Books

There are many benefits to renting audiobooks. These include:

  • Wide range of audiobooks to choose from including bestsellers and non-fiction titles
  • Audiobooks are delivered directly to your phone pc
  • All audiobooks app have a player with a variety of function, no need to worry about downloading files separately
  • A cost-effective way to access a wide selection of audio books
  • Many plans include free bonuses and digital perks
  • Most plans have no limit as to how long books can be held

Drawbacks of Renting Audio Books

  • While there are many benefits of renting audio books, there are also some drawbacks. These include:
  • Some audiobooks might not be available due to high demand, this means that they are not necessarily available on demand
  • Many new bestsellers are not available for rent but it can be purchased separately
  • Most audiobooks are DRM protected and this means that they cannot be copied onto other devices such as MP3 players or mobile phones
  • Price may not be that competitive when compared with audiobook digital buying plans offered by companies such as Audible
Img source:

AudioBook Rental Companies

Many companies offer audiobook rental programs. These include:

  • Audible one of the best services offers a rental plan along with a digital purchase plan
  • Scribd Besides renting audiobooks you are getting access to books, magazines, and much more.
  • Downpour another great app with somewhat limited library though but good pricing

How to Choose the Right Book?

All recorded books are not equal nor do they all appeal to all listeners. Most dedicated listeners prefer unabridged versions, which means the entire book, word for word, has been recorded, nothing has been omitted. Sometimes an abridged version not only leaves out words but characters and storylines as well.

A book, such as a hefty classic, (War and Peace perhaps) seems daunting to sit and read. But becomes more inviting when read to you by a skilled performer. Veteran audiobook lovers not only recommend their favorite books but also their favorite readers. An online site that sells audiobooks like, offers a dating service for audiobook lovers. Customers can pre-listen to an excerpt to see if the book, reader, and listener are compatible.

Most of the sites offer reviews as well as excerpts. Important to know that when you rent and have an unlimited library available to you you can try any book and if you don’t like the narrator you can simply move on to one you like.

Book Reader Recommendations

Img source:

Over the years several narrators or readers have gained a following and garnered several Audi awards, the Academy Award of the audio publishing world, awarded by the Audio Publishers Association.

Online Carla Hufstedler compiled a list of best narrators which began with Scott Brick. She defines ‘best’ as one whose voice offers the “best inflection, best cadence, best passion. The words being read mean more than the paycheck, by far, and the difference is heard.”

Also on her list are several authors who read their work such as David Sedaris and Stephen King.

Dedicated readers and audiobook listeners freely offered suggestions. One recommended

Barbara Kingsolver reading her works. (Poisonwood Bible, etc.) Another, who can only listen to nonfiction, gladly suggested Devil in the White City by Erik Larson and read by Scott Brick.

Scott has gotten rave reviews by several listeners. When thoughts turn to the holidays, perhaps include a new tradition: Charles Dicken’s classic A Christmas Carol, read by Orson Welles.

Popular Mystery Book Readers

Recommendations from members of the popular mystery list: DorothyL resulted in an interesting discussion of readers as well as suggested listening. Someone offered the Ian Rankin Rebus series, read by James Macpherson.

Joe Mantegna’s reading of the Spenser series written by Robert. B. Parker received several positive comments. One member mentioned that, “ Mantegna captures the poetic rhythm that Parker writes into his dialogue.”

Also, anything read by Barbara Rosenblatt got a thumbs up. She reads among other things the Lisa Scottoline, Linda Fairstein, Sarah Graves, and Diane Mott Davidson mysteries.

Other recommended readers:

  • Dick Hill
  • Phil Gigante (reads Karen Moning’s Beyond the Highland Mist)
  • Jeff Woodman
  • John McDonough who reads Jan Karon’s Mitford series.

Depending on a listener’s circumstances, audiobook rentals are a great way to access and listen to a wide variety of audiobooks. You can also stream rather than purchase or downloading outright. Audiobooks fit neatly into this fast-paced lifestyle, offering an oasis of entertainment or maybe escape, and leave your hands free for other tasks. There are many different plans and rental options available and rental companies often offer a trial service. This can be a good low-risk way to find out if audiobook rental is the best option.