Spotify gives paying users free audiobook trial

Spotify has over 300,000 audiobooks on its service  (Spotify)
Spotify has over 300,000 audiobooks on its service (Spotify)

Spotify is giving paying subscribers a new perk by letting them listen to audiobooks for free.

As part of the new incentive, Spotify Premium members in the UK and Australia can get a 15-hour trial for 150,000 audiobooks - or roughly half of the app’s library - every month at no extra cost starting from October 4.

If the session runs out, you’ll be able to purchase 10-hour top-ups for extra listening time. The new benefit will come to the US this winter.

Spotify introduced audiobooks in the UK in November, with the addition of over 300,000 titles to its audio catalogue. You can find them via the app’s home page, in the dedicated audiobooks hub, and by searching for specific titles.

With Spotify reigning in its podcast spending habits after splurging on splashy deals with the Sussexes and Joe Rogan, audiobooks could turn out to be its next big bet.

By offering a time trial, Spotify could win over customers that are yet to pull the trigger on audiobooks. It could also make the service’s recent price rise a little easier to digest.

Plus, free listening should help to ease the technical limitations associated with audiobooks on the service. Currently, purchasing an audiobook on Spotify requires you to buy it from a web page outside of the app, after which it is automatically saved in your library.

Ditching the checkout process in favour of allocated listening times sounds a lot more straightforward. Ultimately, it should be as smooth as firing up your favourite album, playlist or podcast.

Subscribers will be able to spot free audiobooks by their “included in Premium” label. The app will track your monthly listening time and show you how long is left. Titles can also be downloaded for offline listening and an automatic bookmarking feature will save where you left off.

Spotify claims to have the largest audiobook catalogue of any subscription-based audiobook streaming platform, with over 70% of bestselling titles from around the world.

Publishers on the app include Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and RB Media, as well as independents like Dreamscape and Pushkin.