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How to Make an Audiobook App?

make an audiobook app

Before we go ahead and discuss the nitty gritty of audiobook app development, it is important to get a little background of these apps. Necessity is the mother of innovation. 21st-century life has gotten insanely fast and people have come up with innovations so absurd and practical that have now become so integral to our daily life. Every sphere of living demands us to evolve to keep up and as of yet, no one has come up with a better source of information than books.

But reading is a patient, time-consuming activity.

People these days are short on both of those currencies.

And that’s how people came up with audiobooks. Audiobooks help you stay in your world of literature while being in the middle of the mundane grind. You can listen to your favorite books while heading out to work, standing in line, working out, cleaning the kitchen. The idea is simply revolutionary. This post is a result of our experience with creating the audiobook app in the last few months. You can check out the Brave app here.

audiobook app development

Why an audiobook app?

Audiobooks are the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry. Since 2013, the number of audiobooks available online has grown from 20,000 to over 60,000 books. In 2015, audiobooks had over a million more downloads than eBooks. It’s an industry that was estimated to be worth around 2.8 billion dollars.

The internet is limitless, and with a quick search and a few links, you can practically find anything. With audiobooks, however, there is a slight problem. There tends to be a lack of strong, reliable resources. Listeners have to go through the entire exasperating process of finding a legitimate site, looking for good book recommendations, and then downloading it. But it’s a simple mp3 file, and an mp3 player cannot suggest books related to the one you’re listening to, or put bookmarks in places. Taking some inspiration from Amazon’s Audible, which is one of the biggest audiobook apps in the market – it has over 50 million downloads on Google Play, and it recorded that over 1.6 billion hours of audio was downloaded last year.
That’s something worth investing in.

Also Read: Recipe of successful on Demand App

What makes an audiobook app development a success?

make an audiobook app

The success of any app simply depends upon the expectations that users place on every app they use. Audible, Spotify is perfect illustrations of the principle. The user experience is so satisfying during the entire use, and with their useful features, it is not surprising that they are on top of the game in their segment. The entire aim is to make something that makes the entire listening experience so sublime, that it makes more people interested in books.

Also Read: Fitness App Development

Choosing the right business model for audiobook app development.

make an audiobook app

As of now, the best pricing model seems to be the one that Audible follows. It is a basic subscription type of service with a monthly or annual fee, and a specific trial period available. Once you are subscribed, you get access to the entire catalog and get 1 free book every month. This plan is actually extremely practical as a regular listener downloads around 17 books per year. And it is not just Audible that uses this plan. Other giants like audiobooks.com, iTunes, and Downpour also work pretty much the same way. Some services, like Scribd, started off with an unlimited subscription plan that offered access to as many titles as possible. But as profits were not satisfied with this, they soon switched to the limited monthly subscription.

Spotify and Playster provide free unlimited access to audiobooks with their premium subscriptions. This presents some serious competition to Audible’s business model. Audible, however, is looking for a model that can widen their audience while satisfying the content owners, according to their general manager. Let’s discuss the core audiobook app development process now.

audiobook app development

Going about the creation process

The two most important things while designing an audiobook app are the user experience and the content. Neither of the two is more important than the other and there needs to be balanced in order for the application to really take off. Let’s consider Spotify as an example. Spotify’s seamless minimalist UI provides a hasslefree and enjoyable user experience. The subscription and the cancellation processes need to be streamlined, and the user should always feel comfortable during the payment process. The user should get appropriate book suggestions, they should be able to save and retrieve their progress, and also be able to view statistics pertaining to their previous listens.

Where do you get the content?

Content is king. It’s the heart and soul of your audiobook app development. There are multiple ways of obtaining quality content for your app.

In-House Manufactured Books

Obviously, you can always record books on your own. But there are two things to keep in mind. First, it doesn’t mean that you are free from payments. You would have to hire voice actors, purchase licenses if required, and put in a lot of time and effort. And the second thing is that this doesn’t really result in very high-quality books.
Moreover, it will be a very long journey before your library is rich enough to attract an audience.


Marketplaces like ACX are a more practical approach towards filling up a library. It provides a platform for everyone involved in an audiobook app development to come together. Clients post an ad for the creation of an audiobook, and narrators or studios can pick which the titles they want to create. It’s as simple as that.


Some companies don’t sell content to users but instead sell APIs that allow retailers access to their titles and in turn sell them to consumers. Findaway is a good example of the API business model in use. It has over 100,000 titles and deals with over 200 publishers. Scribd and Playster are known to use their API. The audiobook app development market is ripe for investment and innovation. It is at its peak, and can be an amazing venture if undertaken with the right execution of the idea.

How can we Help?

Sodio specializes in making apps that are scalable, have a great user experience and match the needs of customers as well as the creators. If you want to discuss the details about how to create an audiobook app, feel free to get in touch with us. Our product managers and developers would be happy to help you. Make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter if you liked this post about audiobook app development.

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