Spotify’s audiobooks are finally here, but there’s a catch

Get ready to fork over some cash to listen to your favorite books


Spotify has been one of our top destinations for streaming music for years now, and recently we’ve been checking out its efforts to branch out into other audio content. Not too long ago, it introduced podcasts to the platform, letting you listen to your favorite podcasts and check out thoughtful conversations without requiring a separate app. Now, Spotify is expanding even further, as audiobooks land on the platform.

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Last year, Spotify purchased Findaway, placing audiobooks squarely as the next step of the company’s growth plans. And today we finally see the result of that acquisition, as it shares word that audiobooks will be available to Spotify users in the United States. Unlike podcasts and music, though, you’re not able to stream audiobooks for free — even if you pay for Spotify Premium.

Instead, the new system works like a more traditional, store-based audiobook platform, letting you buy from a library of 300,000 audiobooks at prices set by publishers. You can browse and purchase audiobooks on the web version of Spotify, and once you do, they will be added to your library, letting you listen to them on your phone.

Spotify says that this is just its first iteration of doing audiobooks, and that the experience will be continuously improved with new features and additions. The part where you need to buy every book you’re going to listen to, though, might be a hard pill to swallow for some. We’d love to hold out hope that maybe audiobooks will adopt a freemium model similar to music or podcasts down the road, but for now that’s just a pipe dream — we’ll keep our fingers crossed that Spotify finds some way to merge audiobooks with subscription offers.

If you want to check out audiobooks on your Spotify app, and you’re in the US, make sure to update your app.

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