Audiobooks in English are poorly read and expensive

There is lack of decently read audiobooks in English at any price, and the situation changes little over time. Dictors are horrible and even blockbuster titles like "The Name of the Wind" have poor recordings.
On the other hand, I have access to a wealth of audiobooks in Russian, ranging from free-as-in-beer recordings from Vlad Kopp, Serguey Kirsanov and Igor Knyazev to literally hundreds of $2-4$ offers on litres.ru.

Interpreting audiobooks is an art. Some audiobooks are great performances that influence popular culture, like "Hard to be a god", starring Leonid Yarmolnik. Vlad Kopp gathers concert halls for his live reading performances. Igor Knyazev has a cult following.

If there is an example of copyright stifling culture, this is it. Russians had laxist copyright rules for a while, and the art of producing audiobooks flourished.