Spotify wants to be your one-stop for all your listening needs. It has music, podcasts, and most recently, audiobooks. The audiobook experience on Spotify is a bit different than you might expect. Let’s take a look.
Audiobooks a la Carte
Audiobooks launched on Spotify in September 2022 with over 300,000 titles to choose from right out of the gate. The company’s approach to audiobooks is intentionally different from what Amazon is doing with Audible.
Audible is geared to be a subscription-based audiobook platform, though you can purchase books individually. The $7.95 “Plus” plan and a $14.95 “Premium Plus” plans both give you unlimited access to audiobooks in the “Plus” catalog, but you still need to purchase “credits” for titles that aren’t included.
Spotify’s audiobooks are offered a la carte, meaning you only purchase what you want when you want it. There’s no monthly subscription or catalog of audiobooks you can listen to for free, and there are no discounts for Premium subscribers. It’s like walking into a book store and buying a book.
How Much do Spotify Audiobooks Cost?
Spotify is certainly not alone in the world of audiobooks. Besides Amazon’s Audible, there’s also Apple Books, Google Play, Audiobooks.com, and others to compete with. So how does Spotify stack up in pricing?
Let’s compare the price of Stephen King’s The Gunslinger across Spotify, Audible, Apple, Google, and Audiobooks.com. These prices are without any subscriptions.
- Spotify: $15.49
- Audible: $15.22
- Apple: $14.99
- Google: $14.95
- Audiobooks.com: $19.99
Spotify’s a la carte pricing is competitive with the other options on the market. In fact, Amazon dropped the price of The Gunslinger on Audible from $18 to $15.22 soon after the launch of Spotify Audiobooks.
Of course, things get a little murkier when we take subscriptions into consideration. For example, Audiobooks.com’s subscription costs $14.95 and includes one free book per month. So if you’re only reading one book per month, that knocks the price down below Spotify.
In general, you’ll find Spotify’s pricing is about the middle of the pack. You can certainly find better deals from other services, but there aren’t huge price disparities.
How to Buy Audiobooks on Spotify
Perhaps the strangest part of the audiobook experience on Spotify is how you purchase them. Audiobooks can only be purchased in a web browser, not in the mobile or desktop apps.
To browse audiobooks, go to the “Search” tab in the Spotify app and select the “Audiobooks” tile. You can also search for book titles just like song titles.
Annoyingly, you can’t view the price of audiobooks in Spotify’s mobile apps. The play button has a lock icon on it, which will take you to a screen to request an email. The email includes the price and a link to purchase the audiobook. The price is visible in the desktop app, but it still takes you to a browser to make the purchase.
After you’ve made the purchase, the audiobook will appear in your library. Listening to the audiobook works like you would expect. You can play/pause, jump to chapters, adjust playback speed, set a sleep timer, sync progress across devices, give ratings, and download for offline listening.
That’s the story on Spotify audiobooks. It’s yet another service that offers audiobooks, and it may be appealing if you already listen to music and podcasts on Spotify. However, the a la carte pricing is probably not great if you go through a lot of audiobooks each month. Options are good to have.