On September 20th, Spotify launched audiobooks on their platform for listeners in the US, allowing users to access more than 300,000 titles available for streaming.
The new feature is being launched with a brand-new user interface that is “geared specifically for listening to audiobooks,” according to the press release.
Currently, the feature is only available to US listeners, and is available at an extra cost, even for Premium subscribers.
Let’s take a look at Spotify’s new audiobooks feature, including the cost, how you can access it, and what Spotify has said so far…
Spotify launches Audiobooks
Despite the announcement, this is “just the beginning” for Spotify’s journey into audiobooks. They said: “We’ve been working to create a seamless audiobooks experience, and we’ll continue to build and innovate on this in the future.”
Nir Zicherman, Spotify’s Vice President and Global Head of Audiobooks and Gated Content, told For the Record that while adding a new content format to the service is “no small feat,” Spotify has already done it before with podcasts so are “excited” to do the same with audiobooks.
“We’ve been testing, researching, and listening to figure out how to create the most seamless experience on Spotify,” Zicherman said, “our hope is that users who find audiobooks in their apps starting today feel that the user experience is obvious—that audiobooks fit in perfectly with how they already use Spotify.”
Will Audiobooks cost extra on Spotify?
Yes, audiobooks will cost extra, even for Premium listeners. Instead of it working as a subscription (e.g you pay a set price every month), you will pay for each individual audiobook.
Audiobooks will show up on Spotify with a lock icon on the play button, which means they must be purchased in order for you to listen.
You will be able to purchase books on a web page, even if you are listening in the app.
How to access audiobooks
US listeners can find audiobooks on Spotify alongside music and podcasts as a section in search, in their. library, and in their curated recommendations on the home page.
After purchasing an audiobook, it will automatically be saved in your library and available to listen whenever you want. You will be able to download content for offline listening just as you would with music and podcasts.
Spotify has also introduced a bookmarking feature for audiobooks with means your place in the book will be saved for when you return to the book.
Spotify audiobooks features explored
Spotify will also be allowing listeners to control the speed of audiobooks by providing a variety of options to speed up or slow the pace of reading.
If you like to review books, you will also have the opportunity to rate the audiobook after listening to it. The rating feature will show the rating of audiobooks publicly, so you can browse and see what is popular before buying and listening.
Zicherman made it clear that this is just “the first iteration” of audiobooks on Spotify.
He said: “We’ll learn a lot through this launch and leverage those learnings as we enhance the experience with new features, plan for launches in additional markets, and innovate on the format to benefit listeners, authors, and publishers.”