Spotify is offering Premium subscribers access to 150,000 audiobooks at no extra cost — with a catch.
Spotify has announced plans to expand its Premium subscription service to include access to a selection of 150,000 audiobooks with no additional charge. The new bundle launched today in the UK and Australia, with plans to launch in the US later this year and more markets soon to follow.
“We believe that offering personalized music, podcasts, and audiobooks on a single platform gives you a superior way to connect with your favorite artists, podcasters, creators, and authors — all in one spot,” says Spotify in a blog post. “Not only can you listen to some of your favorite authors’ works, but you can also tune into podcasts where fans dissect the most minor details of a story and find the hidden meaning in every sentence, without leaving the app.”
The audio streaming giant first launched audiobooks in the US in September last year on the back of its acquisition of digital audiobook distributor Findaway. It expanded the offering into Canada and other English markets by early 2023.
At the time, Spotify said it expected great things by tapping into the audiobook market, noting that the category was growing by 20% year-over-year, even though audiobooks made up a roughly 7% share of the broader book market.
But Spotify’s audiobook experience has been severely lacking on the consumer end, with the company requiring users to buy audiobooks from the Spotify website to play them in its app, in order to bypass app store rules regarding in-app purchases. By bundling audiobooks as part of the Premium service, users will have a much easier time finding and listening to the books they want.
While Spotify’s audiobooks catalog contained 300,000 titles at launch, only half of those are available through a Premium subscription. Notably, although Spotify touts users can listen to as many books as they want, it will limit them to 15 hours of audiobook listening per month — with the option to “top off” with the purchase of an additional 10 hours. Since the average audiobook is around 12 hours of listening time, most users will find they can only finish one book a month.