The NAB Blog

Listening Without Limits – The Naxos Spoken Word Library

By Anthony Anderson

16 October 2023

Occasionally I am asked the question ‘where can you buy audiobooks’? There was a time when the answer would have been ‘in a bookshop’. Sadly, the same advice today would be likely to lead to profound disappointment. Although there are still a few stores that offer a small selection of audiobooks on CD, consumption has largely gone digital.

But what exactly does that mean? In short, it means that most audiobook consumption nowadays is either by download or streaming via a computer, tablet or smartphone.

While the largest digital retailer of audiobooks is Amazon-owned Audible, there are a number of other platforms, some of which operate on a different commercial model, not least of which is the Naxos Spoken Word Library (NSWL). Audible offers a pay-per-download option alongside its subscription model (a monthly payment will buy you one or more credits – one credit is redeemed against one audiobook), the Naxos platform provides unlimited listening for a monthly (or annual) fee.

Several other platforms follow the Audible model, although the number of retailers offering unlimited consumption, such as Naxos Spoken Word Library, has increased in recent years. This gives the listener far more freedom (you are not tied to your choice for that month) and much better value – particularly for frequent audiobook listeners.

The newly enhanced Naxos Spoken Word Library offers many other catalogues in addition to Naxos AudioBooks (including audiobooks in German, Chinese and Portuguese). It boasts a strong search function making it easy for users to find an audiobook that suits them. New titles are added regularly and the iOS and Android apps allow subscribers to download and access audiobooks easily on to their mobile devices.

NSWL is part of Naxos Online Libraries, a suite of resources that offers a wide range of recorded and printed music in addition to spoken word. You can further explore NSWL through this link and even sign up for a free trial.

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