Audible is testing a cheaper plan in Australia

The AUD 8.99 plan is likely an answer to Spotify’s recent audiobook push.

Amazon / Kevin Chu / KCJP

Audible is testing a cheaper subscription tier in Australia that sounds like an answer to Spotify’s audiobook push. Like the more expensive plan, the new Standard membership gives you one free title per month. But, similar to gaming services like PlayStation Plus, you lose access to the books you claimed under the plan if you cancel.

As reported by Bloomberg, the Audible Standard plan costs AUD 8.99 (US$5.90) per month, significantly lower than the AUD 16.45 monthly cost of the Premium Plus plan in Australia ($14.97 in the US). Despite the lower cost, Audible Standard subscribers down under can still claim one audiobook per month to add to their library, which they can download and listen to online or off.

But the catch is, unlike Audible Premium Plus, Standard members’ free audiobook credits don’t roll over to the next month if they don’t use them. (So, if you forget to claim a book in May, you’ll still only have one credit to use in June.) In addition, the audiobooks you chose on the Standard plan will have a lock icon next to them after you cancel. To listen to them after canceling, you’ll have to buy them at full price or resubscribe.

Another difference between the plans is Audible Standard members won’t get full podcast access. “Audible Standard members can listen to many podcasts for free,” an Audible FAQ about the plan reads. “Some Audible Original podcasts aren’t available with Audible Standard membership though.”

Spotify launched an audiobook feature last year that challenged Audible’s established model. Spotify Premium subscribers in the US can stream 15 hours of books monthly through their ad-free music plan. The service also offers an audiobooks-only tier (with the same 15-hour cap) for $10 monthly. If the allotted time isn’t enough, Spotify users can buy a 10-hour top-up. A single audiobook often lasts around seven to 11 hours.