Spotify adds a paid audiobook option to its free tier

Audiobooks on Spotify on an iPhone.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Spotify today announced an option that brings audiobooks to the free tier — for a price. Dubbed the Audiobooks Access tier, it’ll get you 15 hours of listening from more than 200,000 books for $10 a month, without having to also pay for Spotify Premium.

And, well, that’s it. Spotify says that since it started offering audiobooks as part of the Premium subscription, it’s seen a 45% increase in free users both searching for and interacting with audiobook content on a daily basis.

“With this plan and in one app experience,” Spotify wrote in a news release, “listeners can continue to tune into music and podcasts on our free, ad-supported service, offering a great option for literary enthusiasts who are looking for more audiobook-specific content.”

Audiobooks are available within the Spotify app, right alongside music and podcasts. The same caveats from the Premium access still apply here. For example, if you listen to a 1-hour audiobook at 2x speed, it still counts for the full hour, not just 30 minutes. And you can listen to a book more than one time, but it will count against your allotted 15 hours twice. And whatever listening time you don’t use doesn’t roll over to the next month. You use it or lose it.

You can sign up for the Audiobook Access tier now

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Spotify is available on pretty much any connected device, from your phone and tablet to streaming platforms and web browsers (or even full desktop apps). Spotify had some 602 million monthly active users as of the end of 2023, with more than one-third of them paying for a Premium subscription, which starts at $11 a month for a single account and ranges up to $17 a month for a family account.

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