Image Credit: Spotify
Audiobooks on Spotify expands to more countries, but with no way to purchase on mobile and expensive titles, who is this feature for?
Over 300,000 audiobooks in the same place you already stream music and podcasts… sounds great right? While it lauched in the US in September, and is now available in more English-speaking markets: the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, unfortunately Spotify’s audiobook feature isn’t ready for mass adoption just yet.
Audiobooks are available to browse and purchase for all Spotify Free and Premium members, however purchases can only be made on a web page. On mobile, you can browse audiobooks, sorted by categories such as Fantastic first audiobooks, What’s new, Buzzworthy books, etc. No search just yet. Once you find a title you like the look of, you can listen to a sample in the app.
Currently tapping the locked play button shows “Want to listen? You can’t buy audiobooks in the app. We know, it’s not ideal” with no reason, link or instructions on how to purchase. To purchase on mobile or tablet, you’ll need to head to open.spotify.com. Once you’ve purchased the book, it’ll be available across devices logged in to the same account. On the desktop app it’s a little easier, with a direct link to a payment page.
Spotify don’t directly say the reason for this additional layer, but in a blog post, they call out Apple’s App Store rules.
Outside of restrictions, audiobooks on Spotify are very expensive. Below are the three titles at the top of the What’s new page in the UK, with prices on Spotify, Apple Books and Audible (Amazon).
Richard Osman – The Bullet That Missed
Apple Books: £9.99
Audible: £14.99, or one credit with a £7.99/month membership
Matthew Perry – Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing
Apple Books: £9.99
Audible: £29.99, or one credit with a £7.99/month membership
Michelle Obama – The Light We Carry: Overcoming In Uncertain Times
Apple Books: £12.99
Audible: £37.99, or one credit with a £7.99/month membership