Spotify adds audiobooks to its app with 300,000 titles available at launch

Audiobooks on Spotify can be downloaded for offline reading  (Spotify)
Audiobooks on Spotify can be downloaded for offline reading (Spotify)

Spotify listeners in the UK and Ireland can now purchase and listen to more than 300,000 audiobooks as part of a major update to the music streaming service.

You can find audiobooks in your library, in search, and in your curated recommendations on the Home tab. To make a purchase, Spotify says you will have to buy an audiobook from a web page, after which the title will be automatically saved in your library.

As with music, listeners can download audiobooks for offline listening when they don’t have access to wi-fi or mobile data. There is also an automatic bookmarking feature that saves your place so you can pick up reading on the page where you left off. While speed control can speed up or slow down the pace of the narration in case you want to flip through a book quickly, or slow down the pace to take it all in. Like any good audiobook service, listeners can rate a title they’ve read and view its cumulative score, too.

Spotify launched audiobooks in the US in September. At the time it said that the expansion was proof of its belief that “audio and long-form content is a much bigger business than what many would have thought”. According to the company, while audiobooks represent just a 6% to 7% share of the wider book market, the category is growing by 20% year on year.

The music streamer previously made a major push into podcasts, snapping up audio software companies like Anchor to make it easier for people to make their own episodic shows, and securing deals with high-profile creators and celebs like Joe Rogan, the Obamas and most recently YouTube star Emma Chamberlain.

Alongside the UK and Ireland, audiobooks are also now available in Australia and New Zealand. “This is just the beginning of Spotify’s audiobooks journey,” the company said in a press release. “We’ve been working to create a seamless audiobooks experience, and we’ll continue to build and innovate on this in the future.”