Spotify has today announced that subscribers in the United States can now listen to audiobooks — more than 300,000 of them, to be precise.
Spotify says that this is "just the beginning of Spotify’s audiobooks journey," with audiobooks appearing "alongside music and podcasts as a section in [people's] library."
But there's a catch. None of those books are included with the Spotify subscription and people who do subscribe won't even get a discount on the books that they pay for. They won't be able to buy their audiobooks via the Spotify app, either. "Users who discover audiobooks in the Spotify app will be able to purchase them on a web page," the streamer says, adding that "upon returning to Spotify, the book will be automatically saved in their library and available to listen to."
Spotify is far from the first to offer audiobooks, of course. Amazon-owned Audible allows people to buy audiobooks, for example.
Spotify isn't saying when new can expect the audiobook feature to roll out internationally, either. We do know that those in the United States can look forward to features like offline listening and the ability to control playback speed, at least. There's a special rating feature so listeners can "share their opinion after listening to a book," as well.
Spotify's claims of being the one place people need to go to listen to content might have merit, though. With music, podcasts, and now audiobooks all available in one place it's difficult to know why subscribers would go elsewhere.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.