Will The NOOK Become The Best Audio Book App For Android?

The audio book has certainly come a long way. While most readers still prefer to read a printed book or more recntly, a digital eBook on their devices; the arrival of audio books have given American readers a new way to enjoy written works..

Their popularity had been limited as audio books have been more expensive compared to normal books and the cumbersome formats that audio books were available were not really very appealing compared to owning a printed book. That changed, however, with the growth of the Internet. The web has given audio book publishers the means to distribute their product to more people and it appealed to a market that is more open to trying audio books. As a result, from a paltry 3,000 plus audio book titles in 2007, the numbers grew to more than 20 thousand in 2013 and is still continues to grow.  In 2014, the Audio Publishers Association estimated that sale of audio books reached up to $1.47 billion, 13.5 percent higher than in 2013.

But even with this terrific growth, the success of the audio book in the digital world is still in its early stages. As a result, there are only a few apps out there that are exploiting this growing reading trend. The first one that comes to mind is Audible, but it is subscription based so is not really an appealing option for a lot of consumers.

Fortunately, Barnes and Noble decided to come back to the scene with their NOOK Audiobook app for Android. It had launched their er-eader the NOOk in 2009 with positive reviews of the NOOK but decided to abruptly leave the audio book space last June 2014 to focus on selling physical audio books. The new app is in its early stages but it is showing a lot of promise. In a few years, if Barnes and Noble commits to building their presence in this market, it won't be surprising to hear that the NOOK is the best audio book app for Android in the market.

Nook App For AndroidNook App For Android

So  what makes the NOOK Audiobook App so promising compared to the other options we have in the market today?

1. The App Is Free

The Audiobook app is free to download and unlike Audible, you do not have to subscribe to the service to enjoy the service. This is a very intelligent move by Barnes and Noble. Audible has focused their service on people who are already fans of the audio book format but the subscription format is not really appealing for people who are not sure they will enjoy the audio book format.  No subscription requirments means that the app will attract folks who are considering audio books and lock in more audio book users in the long run.

2. Free Audio Book Samples For New Users

Another move by Barnes and Noble to entice new audio book users is to offer new users two books (from a selection of five) for free. And these books are actually books folks would want to read. The free selections include popular titles like Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Seabiscuit by Lauren Hillenbrand. The free titles change weekly so you should not expect a certain title to be available for free when you download the app.

3. Access To A Rich Selection Of Books

Barnes and Noble’s online store have one of the biggest selections of audio books in the world. In fact, you can browse at more than 50,000 audio book titles when you download the NOOK Audio book app for Android. This includes bestselling books like “41: A Portrait of My Father” by George W. Bush, “Revival” by Stephen King, and “Leaving Time” by Jodi Picoult. The best part is that there are a couple of good books that are offered for free and those that have to be purchased are being sold in very competitive prices that are even lower compared to prices in Audible.

4. Helpful Features

The Audiobook app right now is very basic but it does look  very promising. Each audio book comes with its own short sample clip to assess the narration. This is pretty important to a lot of audio book fans as most want to hear how the narrator sounds before purchasing. The app also works with the speakers of blue-tooth enabled cars. Of course, the key feature is that it plays the audio book clearly through your device and it does that well.


The main complaint against the new app is that audio books purchased from the Barnes and Noble online store cannot be played in other audio book apps or players. I don't expect that to change anytime soon as it seems to be the norm in the market right now. I understand that to protect their own digital products, digital audio book stores like Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Audible only offers DRM-protected files. 


With access to over 50,000 book titles from the amazing selection offered by Barnes and Noble, trying out the new FREE NOOK Audiobook App for Androids seems like a no-brainer. If you have any type of vision problems or you are a heavy reader at work and simply want to give your eyes a break, or if you like to multi-task or if you  suffer through a long commute, the ability to listen to amazing books can be life-changing. So if you think audio books make sense in your life, I definitely think the Nook Audiobook App is definitely worth trying out.