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Spotify Premium Will Include 150,000+ Audiobooks: New Premium Perk

Spotify has announced the launch of audiobooks as part of its Premium subscription service. The streaming platform is now offering over 150,000 audiobook titles as part of the Premium package in select markets.

Over 150,000 Audiobooks Now Available

Spotify Premium subscribers in the UK, US, Australia and other launch markets will now have access to an extensive audiobook catalog from major publishers. The catalog spans popular genres and includes over 70% of bestselling titles.

The audiobook collection has over 150,000 titles from publishers like Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and RB Media. It also includes titles from independent authors and publishers globally.

This vastly expands Spotify’s content library beyond music, podcasts and other audio. Audiobooks provide engaging long-form content that caters to existing audiophile users.

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Monthly Listening Allowance

With the launch, Spotify has introduced a monthly listening allowance for Premium users. Subscribers will get 15 hours of audiobook listening per month. This allowance resets each month.

The listening hours are pooled across audiobook titles. Users can switch between books and genres based on their preference. Unused hours do not carry forward though.

For heavy audiobook listeners who exceed 15 hours, Spotify provides an option to purchase a 10-hour top-up. This supplements the base free hours.

Audiobook Playback Features

The audiobooks can be accessed through search and personalized recommendations on the Spotify app. They support standard playback features including:

  • Offline listening for downloading books
  • Bookmarks for saving your place
  • Sleep timer to stop playback after some time
  • End-of-chapter announcements

The audiobooks are optimized for Spotify’s range of platforms like mobile, desktop, gaming consoles and in-car entertainment. They can also be controlled through Spotify Connect enabled devices.

Premium Account Required

To access the Premium audiobook catalog, you need an active Spotify Premium subscription. This includes both Individual Premium plans as well as Family and Duo Premium plans.

For Family and Duo accounts, the plan manager gets audiobook access. Support for family members and secondary users may be added later.

Non-Premium Spotify users do not get free audiobook access. However, some titles are available for one-time a-la-carte purchase without a subscription.

US Launch Planned for Later in 2023

The Spotify audiobook feature is launching first in the UK, Australia, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand. Support for the US market is expected later in 2023.

Given the US is Spotify’s largest market, the delayed launch may be to acquire rights to popular audiobooks and publishers first. Licensing restrictions may also contribute to the staged rollout.

As the catalog expands over time, Spotify is likely to launch audiobooks in other new markets too. This helps cement its position as an all-encompassing audio platform.

An Emerging Audiobook Market

The global audiobook market has grown rapidly in the last few years. According to a Grand View Research report, it is projected to reach $24.08 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 22.7% from 2022 to 2030.

Factors like higher digital engagement of consumers, increase in audiobook titles and shifting consumer media habits are expected to drive this growth.

Spotify’s entry adds high competition in the space dominated by Amazon’s Audible. Audiobooks complement Spotify’s podcast portfolio allowing it to attract more authors and publishers. Integrated music and audiobooks also improve customer experience.

The monthly allowance model provides an affordable way to attract mass market audiobook fans. It avoids the credits system used by other providers. Spotify can potentially convert more users to its paid tier with this added benefit.

Challenges and Future Roadmap

Spotify does face a few challenges in gaining audiobook market share. Its catalog depth, pricing and features have scope for improvement compared to Audible.

As it expands to more markets, Spotify needs to bolster its catalog with exclusives and new frontlist titles. It also has to bridge significant gaps with Audible on factors like cloud bookmark syncing, clips sharing and family sharing.

Development of audiobook specific features instead of just music hand-me-downs will also be crucial. This includes adding elements like variable narration speeds, chapter navigation and progress tracking.

However, Spotify does have the advantage of an existing subscriber base to market audiobooks to. Integrating audiobooks into its wider ecosystem of personalized discovery and recommendations will be the key driver for its audiobook strategy.

Over time, expect Spotify to invest heavily into making audiobooks a core part of its platform. This launch opens up an important new vertical that can significantly boost its premium subscriptions and revenues.

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