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How to Build an Audiobook App: Features, Useful Tips, and Monetization

How to buid an audiobook application

Among the three main book formats — printed books, e-books, and audiobooks — the latter ones are showing the most positive upward trend. Millions of people listen to them while commuting, going in for sports, walking, and in many other circumstances when it would be inconvenient to hold a paper book or a tablet.

A person who wants to listen to a captivating audiobook has to solve two crucial tasks: getting someone else’s recommendations on what book is worth listening to and finding the service selling this book in good quality. An audiobook app can perform both tasks successfully, and therefore, is a great business idea.

Why Wanting to Develop an App for Audiobooks Is a Good Idea?

The audiobook market is going up at almost 30% per year, and these figures are even higher in some countries. The growth is several times higher than the respective rates of other formats. Consequently, this trend should not be ignored.

The United States has developed the world’s largest audiobook market. However, the audio format is gradually gaining momentum in other countries as well. That largely happens because modern urban residents, who are major consumers of such content, are changing their pace of life.

According to Deloitte estimates, the global audiobook market will grow 25% to $3.5 billion in 2020 while the podcast market will grow 30%, reaching $1.1 billion.

Raise of the audiobook and podcasts market (by Deloitter)


As a 2018 U.S. poll shows, 18% of American adults have listened to at least one audiobook in the past 12 months. Assuming that this figure shows steady growth, we can conclude that more than 73 million people currently listen to at least one audiobook a year in the United States.

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Widespread smart speakers and on-demand audiobook streaming services are among the main growth drivers boosting audio-formatted content consumption. Audiobooks for kids, the popularity and market share of which are also going up, are another potential growth driver.

Audiobook App Development: What Features Should That Product Offer?

Let’s get straight to the point. So, you have decided to create an audiobook mobile app and face the task of drawing up the technical requirements for the developer. Where to start?

First, we have to list the required functions and advanced features that such a product should have.

The required functions are as follows:

  • Registration (Authorization). You can implement this feature both via email/phone and social networks.
  • User profile. It stores data on users, the content they interacted with, their payment information, etc. The user profile can be gradually upgraded by adding new features like a wishlist and a recommendation feed.
  • Playback controls. In this regard, it is also important to remember such a crucial point as playing the book in the background. You can also add a possibility to control the playback speed.
  • Push notifications. This marketing tool is valuable enough to be used for a wide variety of purposes. For more info, please read our article “In-App Messages vs. Push Notifications: What’s the Difference and How to Use Them.”
  • Audiobook catalog. It is necessary to include the possibility of searching (filtering) books by features, as well as a separate book card layout.

Audiobook App Concept UI

[by Zypsy, Dribble]

As you develop your audiobook app and release updates for it, you can add some further features:

  • Cross-platform format. People use different devices in everyday life. Hence, you can significantly expand your audience by giving users the possibility to take advantage of your product on various platforms.
  • Audio and text synchronization. The possibility to listen to a book and read it at the same time can be useful, for instance, for those who are learning a foreign language.
  • Recommendation feed. It can be formed either based on editorial selections or on the content viewed and listened to by users.
  • CarPlay and Android Auto Support. Surprise, surprise! Not all apps offer this kind of connection, but many people listen to audiobooks while driving.
  • Audio streaming. Offer your users two options for content consumption: either to download an audiobook to a device or to stream it directly from the Internet.
  • Playback point synchronization. If users playback the book from the cloud, they should be able to continue listening to it on the other device from the point where they stopped the playback.
  • Favorite tags. Similarly to bookmarks in physical books, you can provide your users with the possibility to mark a particular fragment in an audiobook to remember and return to it if necessary.

Want to start a project?

Our team is ready to implement your ideas. Contact us now to discuss your roadmap!

Choose a Business Model: How to Monetize an Audiobook App?

Any commercial project is created to generate profit. Therefore, long before you release your mobile app, you have to comprehend how to make money from it. Below, you can find the most promising ways to monetize your audiobook app.

  1. Subscription model. That is the best option for services focused on selling access to content. You can set up either a monthly or annual fee. Make sure you provide users with a short free trial period, for example, two weeks.
  2. Bookselling. Apart from a regular subscription, you can work on the marketplace model and sell each audiobook separately. The advantage is that this way you can make money even from those users who rarely listen to audiobooks. The disadvantages are that this option will be more expensive for users, and businesses will have a hard time planning their financial indicators.

Actually, your audiobook app can combine both monetization models. It is more difficult to implement technically, but you provide users with more options.

How much does it Cost to Develop an Audiobook App?

If this market sparked your interest, and you are ready to invest in developing such a product, you are probably asking yourself how much it will cost to create an audiobook app. There is no clear-cut answer to this question since everything depends on several factors: complexity, technological stack, deadlines, and more. You can read more about all that in this article on our blog.

If you already have some desires and vision regarding your audiobook app, and you would like us to estimate its development cost, please contact us to discuss the details.

Lvivity Team

Flexibility, efficiency, and individual approach to each customer are the basic principles we are guided by in our work.

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