Image credit: Spotify

Spotify have just opened up their audiobook content to all Premium listeners, sort of.

After many rumours, Spotify finally dropped audiobooks last year onto their music streaming platform. After podcasts had suggested it, audiobooks confirmed that Spotify were evolving to become the number one audio platform, not limited to music.

However, steam was very quickly lost as excited listeners clicked open their apps, hurriedly tapped on a book they were excited to explore, and were presented with a purchase page. That’s right, the audiobooks weren’t included with either the Free or Premium Spotify tiers and required an individual purpose.

Now, it’s all changing. Sort of… Spotify have today announced that Premium subscribers will have access to more than 150,000 audiobooks on the platform. The available books will now be marked with ‘Included with Premium’.

Eligible users have gained 15 hours of free listening which will refresh each month. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but that equates to roughly one average book length.

However, it seems – at least for now – there are a number of restrictions to the access which means you may not be able to listen for any amount of time at no extra cost.

Who gets free access to Spotify Audiobooks?

Premium users are currently the only tier with access to 15 hours of free listening on audiobooks. Free users do not have any free hours that they can use to listen to audiobooks with.

Users on a Family and Duo account will also be restricted for the time being. Only the plan manager will have access to the 15 hours free, whilst everyone else on the plan will not have any free hours of audiobook listening.

Where can you listen to Spotify Audiobooks for free?

Currently, only eligible users in the UK and Australia are gaining access to 15 hours of free audiobook listening. The US is expected to follow closely behind later this year.

Sadly, there’s no news as to when or where Premium audiobooks might be coming next.

What happens when you use up your 15 free hours on Spotify Audiobooks?

Spotify will now offer a 10-hour top up as an alternative to purchasing audiobooks, if you want to simply finish one you’ve started or don’t want to commit to a whole piece but are looking for more listening time.

Of course, all users will still be able to purchase any of the audiobooks available in Spotify’s library.

Can you listen to Spotify audiobooks offline?

Premium users can download audiobooks for offline listening on their devices. The app will track your listening time so that you still have 15 hours worth of free listening with any offline content.

Will Spotify add more hours of free audiobook listening?

Spotify have said that they’re “working on more ways to unlock access to Premium audiobooks in future” for users on Family and Duo accounts. They haven’t mentioned whether they will consider adding more hours to Premium in the future, or whether Free users are likely to be receiving any anytime soon.

However, recent rumours have suggested that Spotify might soon be launching another tier above Premium. The rumours suggest that amongst features like HiFi audio and AI tools, the so-called Supremium tier will also feature 20 hours of audiobook listening a month.