Books have always been an integral part of our lives. Whether it be for education or entertainment, the power of a great book is undeniable. Back in the days when technology wasn’t raving and sneaking into our lives, and we weren’t glued to our phones and social media 24/7, books were the most beloved means of entertainment. In the regency era, ladies used to pass their time and make merry by reading. It was considered a sophisticated activity that every lady and gentleman in that era should indulge in.
However, things have changed as we evolved and transformed into a different era. Now, reading is a luxury many of us cannot afford, thanks to our packed schedules and never-ending deadlines. But does that mean books have lost their charms and reading is a forgotten hobby now? Of course not.
Because with evolution comes invention. And one such product of evolution is audiobooks, the new twenty-first-century twist to physical books. Most of us are acquainted with audiobooks now. But how about we dive deeper and understand the mechanism behind audiobooks while finding the best audiobook app in India?
Sounds fun? Then let’s get started.
What is an audiobook?
Audiobook, when divided into two, gives us the words audio and books. Therefore, it can be said that an audiobook is the amalgamation of audio and books or audio into books. Simply, an audiobook is a book available in audio format. In other words, a book that you can listen to whenever and wherever you want.
Wikipedia defines an audiobook as “a recording of a book or other work being read out loud. A reading of the complete text is described as “unabridged” while readings of shorter versions are abridgments.”
Audiobooks have become a lifesaver for those who love reading but have no spare time. This is why the audiobook industry has been steadfastly growing with immense potential for the future because, like it or not, our lives aren’t getting any slower.
And while one may think that audiobook is a recent phenomenon, it isn’t. The beginning of audiobooks started as early as the 1800s. Of course, it wasn’t the audiobooks we see these days, but it was a start, nevertheless. It began with spoken words being sold on cylinders in the late 1800s and early 1900s. However, because of round cylinders, time was limited to merely four minutes. It was further upgraded to twelve with the help of flat cylinders but was still impractical.
Fast forward to 1931 (as per Wikipedia), the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and Library of Congress Books for the Adult Blind Project established the “Talking Books Program” (Books for the Blind), which was intended to provide reading material for veterans injured during World War I and other visually impaired adults. The first test recordings in 1932 included a chapter from Helen Keller’s Midstream and Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.”
The organization received congressional approval for exemption from copyright and free postal distribution of talking books.
The first company that could be credited with really planting the seed for what we know today as an audiobook was Caedmon Records, started in New York by college graduates Barbara Holdridge and Marianne Roney. From then till now, the audiobook industry has evolved, transformed, and seen many turning points with the introduction of the internet further adding to its growth.
Importance of audiobooks:
One might argue that an audiobook can’t beat a physical book, which might or might not be accurate. Many readers have now adopted audiobook technology and gotten comfortable with it. While it does indeed miss the feel of a physical book, there are certain perks to an audiobook. And these are:
- Flexibility: the undeniable perk of audiobooks is that it’s flexible. You don’t need any extra space for them or a specific time. You can listen to an audiobook anywhere and anytime without any problem, whether it be driving to your office or squeezing through a crowded train.
- Live experience: sometimes, some book characters almost feel like they are real people, not someone’s imagination. So, could it get any better when they feel like real people? Because audiobooks give you the same experience. Yes, it may lack visuals, but listening to your favorite characters come alive is nothing short of a chef kiss, isn’t it?
- New career opportunities: the audiobook industry has also opened up career opportunities for aspiring and seasoned voice over artists. Narration for audiobooks is highly in demand these days. If you want to try your hand at audiobook narration, you can check out how to become an audiobook narrator tutorial to get an idea.
Best audiobook app in India.
There are hundreds of audiobook apps available across the internet. But for the best audiobook experience, you must have the best audiobook apps. After understanding the concept and importance of audiobooks, let us look at the best audiobook app in India.
Pocket FM– one of the most popular and best audiobook app in India is Pocket Fm. It was started in 2018 and dominates the industry these days. It has provided an excellent platform for writers and voice over artists to follow their passion for writing and storytelling. Their annual plan starts at Rs. 119/month, which is a good investment.
Audible- Audible by Amazon is hands down the most sought-after audiobook app, not just in India but worldwide. It is available on different devices, such as tablets, mobile phones, tablets, and desktops. With Audible, you get a thirty-day free trial and a free audiobook. An audible subscription is also 199/month and is cancellable anytime.
Kuku Fm- Probably the best in the game at the moment in the Indian audiobook industry is Kuku Fm. It hence is considered one of the best audiobook app in India. It has around one crore plus listeners and is growing tremendously as they reinvent traditional radio with diverse audio content. Founded in 2018, the annual subscription for the app is Rs 399, and it has a wide range of books, topics, and genres to choose from.
Storytel- Another mega-successful audiobook app that is widely popular across the world is Storytel. It offers 500,000 titles and content in 10+ Indian languages as well. This, too, is a subscription service with fourteen days.
So, these are some of India’s best audiobook app recommendations for you. Audiobooks are the best way to go if you love books but have no time to afford to read. Listening to your favorite characters come to life is an experience worth trying, don’t you think? And they are also hassle-free and can be your best traveling partner.