You Can Now Listen to 300,000+ Audiobooks on Spotify—Here’s How

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Will the streaming giant overtake Audible as the go-to resource for audiobooks?

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Sure, you can listen to The Michelle Obama Podcast, Living & Learning with Reba McEntire and other popular podcasts exclusively on the streaming service, but you couldn’t listen to audiobooks on Spotify—until now, that is. To the delight of talking-book fans everywhere, the streaming audio giant announced in mid-September that it would begin offering more than 300,000 audiobook titles for purchase on the platform.

If it comes as a surprise that Spotify, home to more than 4.4 million podcasts, is entering the audiobook market, all one has to do is look at the numbers. Audiobooks currently represent just 6% to 7% of the total book market, Spotify reported in its new business announcement—but that number has been growing by 20% year over year. People are busier than ever and appreciate the opportunity to hear celebrities and authors narrate some of the best books, rather than reading them. Of course, family audiobooks and free audiobooks for kids are perfect for road trips, and budget-minded folks seek out free audiobooks.

Does Spotify have audiobooks?

Yes! This is part of the company’s push to become a one-stop shop for all types of audio—music, podcasts and now, audiobooks. It makes sense for Spotify to tap into this rapidly growing market as more and more consumers fall in love with audiobooks. Note that for now, audiobooks on Spotify are only available in the United States.

What type of audiobooks will you find on Spotify?

When the program launched on Sept. 20, it featured 300,000 audiobook titles, with more to be added. Spotify has a diverse range of audiobooks, including fiction books, nonfiction books, most-anticipated books, romance novels, historical fiction and mystery books. An Editor’s Pick section highlights everything from bestselling author Karen M. McManus’s Nothing More to Tell to self-help titles like You Owe You: Ignite Your Power, Your Purpose, and Your Why by Eric Thomas, PhD. If what you’re looking for isn’t available yet, check back again soon, as Spotify plans to expand its library in the coming weeks and months.

Are the audiobooks on Spotify free?

Unfortunately, audiobooks on Spotify are not free, even if you already pay for a premium membership. Audiobook prices range from $3 for shorter works like children’s books, up to about $40 for sagas like George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.

Where can you find audiobooks on Spotify?

There are two ways to search for audiobooks on Spotify.

  1. Log on to open.spotify.com on your web browser. In the search bar with the magnifying glass at the top, enter a book title or an author you’re interested in, or scroll down to the “Audiobooks” button to search by category.
  2. On the desktop or mobile app, the process is similar: Tap the search bar and then either look for a specific book or author, or browse the audiobook collection.

For now, while you can search for audiobooks on the app, you can only buy them from a web browser. However, once you’ve purchased the book, you can download it to various devices to listen to even when you’re offline.

How does Spotify differ from Audible?

Audible, part of Amazon, is currently the audiobook giant, but it seems Spotify is coming for the title. How should you decide which one to use?

Price

  • Spotify: You pay per book—but you then own that book, even without a Spotify membership.
  • Audible: Your monthly $7.95 subscription gives you access to its library of thousands of books and allows you to listen to as many as you want. That access ends when your subscription does. Note that there are some premium titles, including bestsellers such as Where the Crawdads Sing, that are excluded from the general collection. For access to those, you need to upgrade to a Premium Plus subscription, which costs up to $22.95/month, or $229.50/year. There’s also a bonus if you’re an Amazon Prime member—you automatically get two titles free when you sign up for an Audible Premium Plus trial.

Selection

  • Spotify: With more than 300,000 titles available, Spotify has the edge over Audible’s 200,000-plus. However, Spotify doesn’t offer any original titles … yet. Given how it runs its podcast studios, with many exclusive podcasts, it’s a good bet it will add some soon.
  • Audible: Though it has a smaller selection of total titles, a recent search turned up more than 2,000 Audible originals available to subscribers on the site. Some are exclusive to Premium Plus subscribers.

Whichever you ultimately go with, Spotify’s entry into the audiobook world is sure to be a boon to consumers, thanks to its larger collection of titles and different pricing options.

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Zan Romanoff
Zan Romanoff is the author of three young adult novels, most recently LOOK, which O: The Oprah Magazine called "one the LGBTQ books that will change the literary landscape.” Her nonfiction has appeared in print and online for BuzzFeed, The LA Times and The Washington Post, among other outlets. She lives and writes in LA.