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Almost a year after it first began offering audiobooks to Aussies, Spotify seems poised to take a swipe at its biggest rival in the space.
Rolling out in Australia (and a number of other regions) this week, Spotify Premium subscribers now get access to a library of around 150,000 audiobooks. That's around half of Spotify's entire library, which has been previously only available as a one-off digital purchase.
Aside from the fact that those on a Spotify Premium Individual Duo or Family plan aren't able to pull from the entire library, the biggest catch here is that your ability to listen to those audiobooks caps out at 15 hours each month.
You do get that as part of your existing subscription, so it won't cost you anything extra. However, once you've used up your monthly allowance of listening time, you'll have to pay up or hold to find out what happens next.
Spotify will sell a 10-hour "top-up" for those left in the lurch. However, there's no word yet on whether sickos (like myself) who listen at 1.5x or 2x speed will eat through their monthly allowance at a faster clip.
Still, as far as audiobook subscriptions go, Spotify's approach brings with it both pros and cons to consider. You won't own any of the audiobooks you're listening to, which might irk those who like to re-read. On the other hand, the ability to try different titles without committing to seeing them through has its own appeal.
It's very easy to imagine how Spotify might look to build on this offering in the future with more expensive plans that offer additional audiobook access each month. We'll have to wait and see if that's the path that the company ultimately goes down, but it seems like a pretty natural extension of what's on offer right now.
According to Spotify, "We believe that offering personalized music, podcasts, and audiobooks on a single platform gives you a superior way to connect with your favorite artists, podcasters, creators, and authors—all in one spot."