Spotify Premium subscribers in the US can now access the streaming platform’s on-demand catalog of over 200,000 audiobooks, alongside 15 hours of listening each month for free. Ten hours of additional listening can be purchased for $12.99 if you need a top-up between billing cycles. Spotify originally announced that the price for more hours would be $10.99 in the US, but the price was increased before launch.
Audiobooks will appear on the Spotify home feed, and specific titles can be searched for just like music tracks. Spotify has also curated a selection of nine suggested audiobook titles if you need some recommendations on where to start. Audiobook access has already rolled out to paid Spotify subscribers in the UK and Australia.
There’s a wide selection of audiobook content to select from across a variety of genres, with Spotify claiming that 70 percent of its catalog is comprised of bestselling titles. This includes classics like Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, modern romance novels like Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us, and other books from independent authors and the “Big Five” publishers — Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster.
Last month, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in an interview with The Verge that he believes the new perk for Premium subscribers will bring “a whole new generation of listeners to audiobooks.” Results from a nationwide study conducted by Spotify suggest that Gen Z and millennials already represent a significant market for the company to capitalize on, with 72 percent of 18–34-year-olds claiming to listen to audiobooks. The top genres include comedy (31 percent), fantasy (28 percent), and business / leadership (28 percent), with 41 percent of the surveyed respondents saying they prefer audiobooks over traditional, physical books.
Spotify’s business model for audiobooks differs greatly from Audible’s, which provides users with tokens that can be used to purchase entire audiobook titles in exchange for a monthly subscription that starts at $7.95. Spotify users will have more flexibility to listen to sections of audiobooks within their 15-hour allotment before committing to a specific title, but purchasing additional listening time could quickly get expensive for avid audiobook consumers. Our Hot Pod newsletter has a more detailed analysis of the two competing services.
Update and correction November 8th, 9:15AM ET: the price for 10 additional hours of audiobook listening is $12.99, not $10.99 as initially stated. Spotify spokesperson Laura Pezzini says the $10.99 figure, announced by Spotify in October, was an estimate and not the final price. Spotify didn’t share the updated figure with us until after publication.