Spotify has added a new feature for Premium subscribers meant for bookworms. Starting on October 4, subscribers in the UK and Australia will get access to a selection of more than 150,000 audiobooks without having to pay extra. US subscribers will also be able to enjoy the new perk sometime later this year. While they’re getting access to a wide range of books and can choose to listen to as many as they want, the offering comes with a catch: Subscribers will only get 15 hours of free audiobook listening every month. The streaming giant told us that users can top up their listening hours to the tune of $11 for another 10 hours after the allocation.
That makes Spotify’s service a lot more expensive than Audible’s, which costs $8 a month and has no listening limit. The company first made audiobooks available on its platform back in September last year. It launched with 300,000 titles in its library, and users could purchase any of them from within the service. Spotify could have added audiobooks to Premium subscriptions as a way to get users hooked to consuming different types of media in one place. It’s just a question of whether users would be willing to pay $11 for every 10 hours of listening after the first 15. That may sound lengthy to some, but for voracious readers (or audiobook listeners), that’s nowhere near enough.
“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,” Spotify explained in its announcement.
That said, users can still purchase any title they want from Spotify’s audiobook library, so there’s no need to pay for additional hours if they have specific books in mind. The feature also comes with auto-bookmarking, preventing users from having to repeat pages and lose precious minutes of listening. Plus, if they activate Spotify Sleep Timer, they can fall asleep while listening to their books without having to rewind when they wake up. It’s also worth noting that subscribers can download audiobooks for offline listening.
At the moment, the new perk is only available for individual Premium subscribers and to plan managers of Family or Duo accounts, but Spotify says it plans to expand its availability in the future.