Spotify launches audiobook hub with 300,000 titles

Image: Screenshot from the Spotify app on iPhone

Spotify users are getting a new world of audio unlocked at their earbud tips: audiobooks. 

The Swedish audio streaming media company announced this week it’s adding 300,000 audiobooks to its library, "making our platform a true all-in-one destination for everyone’s listening needs," the company said

Spotify’s collection of titles includes such popular works as Delia Owens' "Where the Crawdads Sing," Michelle Obama's "Becoming" and Colleen Hoover's "It Ends With Us." Spotify has previously offered audiobooks on a limited basis, including J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and such public domain novels as Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and Jane Austen's "Persuasion."

Audiobooks aren’t free to subscribers but are available in a different way compared to its direct competitor Audible.

Amazon’s Audible requires a subscription service to access audiobooks; Spotify’s method allows listeners to buy as they go. 

The audiobooks tab is available now on your Spotify app for browsing. Tapping on an audiobook will show you a summary and an available sample. 

"Audiobooks will show up with a lock icon on the play button, signaling that they need to be purchased in order to listen," Nir Zicherman, Spotify’s Vice President and Global Head of Audiobooks and Gated Content, explained. 

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As of now, you can’t buy audiobooks in the app. So when you tap the play button to unlock, you’ll be asked if you want to receive details to purchase this book via email. 

An email will be sent to the account linked with your Spotify login that shows the price and gives the option to buy the audiobook, which would then automatically save in your library.


Image: Screenshot of an email from Spotify showing details of an audiobook download. 

"Once listening, there are a number of features that we know from user research are essential for a seamless experience," Zicherman said. 

You’ll be able to download the book for offline listening, bookmark your spot, and control your listening speed. You can also publicly rate it once you’ve finished.

You can browse Spotify’s audiobook hub here

This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.