Spotify announces free hours of audiobook listening, students compare streaming services

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A student listens to her phone. A new feature that gives Spotify users 15 hours of free audiobook listening per month may persuade more people to make the switch from another music app to Spotify. (Ivette Galvez)

Spotify announced Spotify Premium users will soon have access to 150,000 audiobooks and 15 hours of free listening per month, “giving them the ability to enjoy as many titles as they want within that monthly allocation,” according to Spotify Newsroom.

This update will be provided for each individual using Premium and each plan manager for Family and Duo accounts.

Previously, Spotify had a collection of more than 300,000 audiobooks available to purchase for users in the U.S. and other countries.

BYU alum Jessica Lopez said she loves audiobooks because she can engage in other activities while she listens, like driving, cooking and exercising. She also said she uses apps like Audible and Libby to listen to her books.

Spencer Beck, a student at BYU—Idaho, explained he was an avid reader growing up and enjoys audiobooks now that he is in college.

“With my time being already spread very thin, Audible lets me still have the pleasure and gain a lot of knowledge or entertainment from reading that I had missed … I think it is a great way to enjoy books again even if you might have a super busy schedule,” he said.

According to many sources online, Audible is the first recommended and used platform for listening to audiobooks.

“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,” Spotify Newsroom said.

Spotify is currently the top music streaming service with more than 551 million users, including 220 million subscribers, Spotify Newsroom said.

The runner-up to Spotify is Apple Music, according to Curry.

Spotify is the leading music streaming service by 100 million subscribers in 2022, with Apple Music as runner-up. With their new audiobook feature, they may gain even more. (Ivette Galvez)

“Once the leader in digital music, Apple Music is behind Spotify in overall users but ahead in some countries,” he said.

Lopez said she uses Apple Music because it was easier since her Spotify account kept getting hacked. She added, however, she is interested to check out this update.

“I’m curious to see the book selection they have and how available the books will be,” she said of Spotify’s update. “This is what will determine if it will be worth it.”

She also said the downfall to this update is 15 hours is not a lot.

“You can use that up with one book,” Lopez said. “And I often listen to a lot more than 15 hours in one month.”

BYU junior Fernando Ramos is also an Apple Music user. He explained he thinks it is cool that Spotify is offering audiobooks while Apple Music does not.

“I would maybe add Spotify to my list,” he said. He shared, however, he would not switch from Apple Music to Spotify.

“Because I’d rather read books than to actually listen to books,” Ramos said. “I get more out of a book from reading it than out of listening to it.”

This new feature is now available for Premium users in Australia and the U.K., Spotify said, and will be available for users in the U.S. later this year.

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