As Spotify deepens its relationship with listeners, the streaming audio platform is now offering Spotify premium subscribers 15 hours of audiobook listening per month. For Family and Duo accounts, only the plan managers will receive that perk. In addition to the listening hours, the platform has made more than 150,000 audiobooks available as part of its Spotify premium subscription offering. This further secures Spotify in the top spot for streaming audio: music + podcast + audiobooks. The new audiobook offering rolled out to Spotify premium subscribers in the UK and Australia on October 4, and will roll out to US subscribers this winter.
“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. Not only can you listen to some of your favorite authors’ works, but you can also tune into podcasts where fans dissect the most minor details of a story and find the hidden meaning in every sentence, without leaving the app,” Spotify said in their October 3, 2023 announcement.
To take advantage of this perk, Spotify premium subscribers can try as many audiobooks as they want from Spotify’s audiobook library. If a listener goes through their audio listening allotment in a given month, they can purchase another 10 hours of audiobooks for $10.99. The full catalog of audiobooks is available on Spotify Premium for a la carte purchases.
In this YouTube announcement, Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek explains the next step in Spotify’s evolution, which includes audiobooks.
Available audiobook titles will be indicated with an “Included in Premium” label. The audiobook library includes audiobooks from all the major publishers and approximately 70% of bestselling books. In addition to the listening hours, Spotify premium subscribers can download audiobooks to take offline. This new foray into audiobooks may help Spotify convert some premium subscribers into audiobook purchasers, helping to diversify revenue streams. When the company made their initial investment into audiobooks, the market was worth $1.6 billion, according to The Verge.
This new venture may also be Spotify’s way around Apple’s 30% fee, often called the Apple Tax, and may be a loophole around some of Spotify’s public gripes with Apple. Spotify has spoken out multiple times with Time to Play Fair, especially with audiobooks. When Spotify first launched audiobooks, they were not able to let customers purchase an audiobook within the app, explain why they couldn’t purchase one, or tell them where to make an audiobook purchase outside of the app.
Despite competition from Apple, Amazon and other streaming audio providers, Spotify remains at the top of the heap as it continues to grow its subscriber base and product offerings. This new offering will help keep Spotify at the top, sweetening the pot for premium subscribers at no extra cost. It may also entice premium subscribers to purchase more listening hours or buy their favorite audiobooks. The ability to download their favorites for offline listening is a nice bonus. The new audiobook offering may also help soften the blow from the modest price increase implemented this summer for Spotify premium subscribers.
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