Spotify wants to be your one-stop platform for listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks. On September 20, 2022, the service introduced a new audiobook feature for users in the United States, with plans to expand to listeners worldwide.
Audiobooks are a departure from your usual Spotify experience. Instead of ad-supported or subscription-based streaming, you purchase individual audiobooks to stream through the app. Over 300,000 titles are available, including bestsellers of all genres.
Spotify curated the titles in categories such as “Great first audio book” or “From podcast to audio book”.
How to Buy Audiobooks on Spotify
To buy an audiobook on Spotify, just follow these steps:
- Visit the Spotify website in your browser.
- Choose the option Find Audiobooks.
- Search or browse through each available title until you find what you want.
- Buy the audio book and enjoy.
After purchasing the audiobook, you can find it in your Spotify library to stream from anywhere, including your mobile device.
What you need to know before buying Spotify audiobooks
While buying audiobooks on Spotify is pretty easy, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
First, you can only buy audiobooks through Spotify website. If you try to buy one through your phone, Spotify will prompt you to request an email message with a purchase link.
Because audiobooks are disposable, you don’t need a premium subscription. And unfortunately, at the time of writing, there is no discount or benefit for subscribers. Purchases are only available in the buyer’s library and you cannot share them even if you have a Spotify Premium Family plan.
It’s also worth noting that you can purchase any audiobook using any credit or debit card, even one that’s not linked to your Spotify subscription.
Spotify audiobooks compared to the competition
If you already subscribe to a competing audiobook subscription like Amazon’s Audible, you may find that Spotify’s service is more expensive. At the time of writing, Spotify does not offer an audiobook subscription service, nor does it offer a discount to Spotify Premium subscribers.
Because Spotify only offers books a la carte, Audible subscribers can find that a track costs at least twice as much as Audible.
Not subscribing to an audiobook platform can save you money when you shop. For example, we compared prices for the audio book version of Talking to Strangers on Spotify, Audible, and Apple Books.
- Spotify charged $21.90.
- Apple Books charged $14.99.
- Amazon and Audible charged $16.12 for non-Audible subscribers.
Note that book prices change and a title may be available for sale on one platform but not on others. However, if price is an issue, it’s worth ‘poking around’.
If convenience is your main concern and you already listen to music and podcasts through Spotify, you might prefer to get your audiobooks through the same platform.
Why Spotify is adding audiobooks
For years, Spotify has tried to expand beyond music into audiobooks and podcasts. Nir Zicherman, VP and Global Head of Audiobooks and Gated Content at Spotify, co-founded a podcasting platform called Anchor, which Spotify acquired in 2019.
Spotify’s foray into other types of audio streaming didn’t end with podcasts. In June 2022, Spotify announced that it had acquired the audio book platform Findaway.
Just like the Spotify feed can help you find what to listen to next, over time you can discover new audiobooks alongside music and podcasts. With the addition of audiobooks, Spotify may be one step closer to being your go-to audio streaming app in the US.
When Will Spotify Audiobooks Be Available Worldwide?
At the time of writing, Spotify hasn’t announced exactly when it plans to offer audiobooks worldwide, but it has announced its intention to do so. This is what Zicherman had to say in a Medium blog post:
“Today we’re in the United States, but over time we’ll be rolling out this feature to more of the more than 433 million Spotify users around the world.”
Will Spotify change the way you listen to audiobooks?
With so many choices, will Spotify serve your listening needs any better? Do you prefer one of its competitors like Audible or Apple Books? Finally, your public library and other low-cost audiobook providers offer additional choices.