Spotify’s Gifting Its Premium Users Free Audiobooks, But There’s a Catch

Spotify audiobooks

If you need some motivation to read more often, Spotify’s giving it to you in the form of audiobooks it’s included free in premium subscriptions to the streaming service.

Launching in Australia and the UK first before being rolled out to the world, Premium Audiobooks will feature a catalogue of a whopping 150,00 audiobooks you can listen to. The only catch? You can only listen to them for up to 15 hours a month.

While many books are around five hours, some longer reads, like ‘The Lord of The Rings, Book 1’ are 22 hours and 38 minutes, meaning you’d only be able to listen to part of the book, before having to wait until the next month. An additional 10 hours can be purchased as top-ups whenever needed.

Spotify audiobooks
Image: Spotify

According to Spotify, its audiobook catalogue is the largest subscription-based audiobook streaming platform on the market. It includes 70% of recent best-selling books from around the world. Spotify works on over 2,000 devices from more than 200 brands.

“Just as Spotify has done in music and podcasting, this offering will fuel the audiobook industry by empowering authors, publishers, and creators to innovate and enable discovery at a never-seen-before scale,” said Spotify in a statement.

Premium subscribers — though, master account holders, only — will also be able to download the audiobooks to be listened to offline. Spotify’s automatic bookmarking feature will save your place so you can easily pick up where you left off. To maximise your consumption time, you can also use a Sleep Timer, which will help conserve your 15-hour allotment.

You can search for audiobooks by title in your Home feed on Spotify, or browse through a curation of titles in the Audiobooks hub. Any audiobook marked “Included in Premium” is part of the free 15 hours.

“I’m so excited to bring some of the same tools that have helped the music industry and podcast industry as well now to the audiobook industry,” Spotify CEO and founder Daniel Ek said at an event announcing the launch Tuesday (US time). “I believe this will bring a whole new generation of listeners to audiobooks.”

In April this year, Spotify announced a planned monthly subscription plan price hike. We now know that was going in Australia from $11.99 a month to $12.99.

“I think we are ready to raise prices, I think we have the ability to do that, but it really comes down to those negotiations,” Ek had said at the time.

“We did raise prices in 46 different locations and markets last year, and even in those markets, were still outperforming. I feel really good about our ability to raise prices over time — that we have that ability — and we have lots of data now that backs that up.”

Related: Ready to Wrap Things Up With Spotify? 5 Great Audio Streaming Alternatives

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