You Can Now Listen To Audiobooks On Spotify for $9.99. Is It Worth It?

Spotify’s foray into audiobooks could be useful for bibliophiles, but other options on the market could be a better bet.

Man enjoying music he's streaming on his headphones
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Listen up: There's another offer on the table from a streaming service. This time it's Spotify, which has launched a new audiobook-only subscription plan for $9.99 a month.

The move, announced Friday (March 1), would allow those who now use the music and podcast service for free to access 15 listening hours of audiobooks every month. The so-called Audiobook Access Tier is “a great option for literary enthusiasts who are looking for more audiobook-specific content,” Spotify says in a blog post.

It seems everything these days comes with a monthly subscription. Whether you’re paying for a streaming service, cloud storage or magazines, most Americans are paying for — and often forgetting they’re paying for — $219 worth of subscriptions every month, as noted in a CBS News report last year.

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According to a Bango survey, people are paying roughly $77 a month and $924 a year on streaming services alone. In an effort to create new and more expensive plans, streaming services that once were ad-free, such as Netflix and HBO, have begun offering subscription tiers with and without ads. 

Spotify has followed suit. Last year, the company raised its monthly premium price to $10.99, from $9.99. Even with the hike, however, it’s still cheaper than other music streaming services on the market.

Is the new plan worth it?

Spotify's premium plan will only run you a buck more a month than its audiobook-only plan, and the premium version allows users to listen to music and podcasts without any ads. It also allows users to listen to 15 hours worth of audiobooks every month before having to pay for various titles.  

In fact, Spotify’s Audiobook Access Tier still has some restrictions. The company hosts more than 370,000 books on its platform, but only 200,000 are eligible under this 15-hour monthly plan — the rest must be paid for right off the bat. Also, users can only purchase titles via the Spotify Web Player, not in the app.

Another consideration is the length of time it will take you to finish listening to an audiobook. While 15 hours could probably get you through a book and a half each month, you'd need well over 24 hours for some popular titles such as The Hunger Games.

Spotify vs. Audible

It’s also worth noting that Spotify’s plan is cheaper than Audible, Amazon’s audiobook shop. Audible is $14.95 a month, and it gives users one credit every month to buy a title and keep it forever.

Audible also has another monthly subscription plan that costs $7.95, which prevents users from choosing a free audiobook every month. Audible sells certain audiobooks exclusively, making them unavailable on other platforms. 

Spotify, however, has only recently begun dipping its toe into audiobooks after successfully nabbing exclusive podcasts and becoming, as it claims, the world's most popular audio streaming service with more than 602 million users. This includes 236 million subscribers in more than 180 markets.

The company said it saw a 45% increase in free users looking for audiobook content on its site after launching its audiobook offering for Premium customers. 

“With this plan and in one app experience, 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,” the company says in the blog.

To compare the audiobook-only plan to Spotify's other plans, visit the company's website.


Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a reporter covering finance, tech and science. She previously covered biotech and health at Crunchbase News and enterprise technology at Business Insider.