Audible is the world’s largest producer of spoken word entertainment and audiobooks. It has amassed a gigantic following which includes a subscription based model for it’s followers. Customers also have the option to purchase audiobooks without a subscription, but at much steeper prices. ACX is the self publishing branch of Audible, which allows authors to submit their own audiobooks and get listed on Audible and Amazon.
Soundwise is a software-as-a-service solution for authors, podcasters and educators to sell audio products directly to consumers. It provides independent creators the means to host and deliver their audiobooks securely, build their audience, control their own pricing, and allow listeners to listen on both mobile devices and desktop computers.
Audible makes money purely through their royalty model, i.e. they take a large share of the audiobook sales revenues. If the author doesn’t sell any books, then ACX doesn’t make any money. There are no upfront fees for authors to be a part of their platform.
Soundwise charges authors and content creators through a subscription model. Authors can pay a monthly or annual fee for using Soundwise to sell and deliver their audiobooks. On all the publishing tiers, authors can publish unlimited numbers of audiobooks.
Audible takes a hefty share of audiobook sales. It has three options for audiobook creation. Depending on which option the author chooses, it determines how much Audible takes from each sale. In the best case scenario, which involves an exclusivity contract that prevents authors from selling their books elsewhere, Audible lets authors keep 40% of their royalties. In the worst case scenario, authors only keep 20% of their royalties.
Under the Plus publisher plan, Soundwise charges 5% of the audiobook sales price as a transaction fee. This is compared with 60% of royalties being charged by Audible. In other words, authors keep 95% of their earnings per sale.
Under the Pro and Platinum membership plans, Soundwise doesn’t charge any fees. Authors keep 100% of their earnings per sale.