Having launched its new catalogue of audiobooks in the US in September, Spotify has moved quickly to roll it out to other countries too.
Today, its 300k-strong catalogue is also available in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, with Spotify focusing first on English-language markets for its latest spoken-word efforts.
As in the US, the audiobooks are not included within Spotify’s existing paid subscription or free service. They can be viewed by Spotify users, but must be purchased from a webpage using an a la carte model before they can be unlocked and listened to within its app.
And yes, this means that like in the US, the feature remains at the mercy of Spotify and Apple’s ongoing feud. Spotify recently admitted that its audiobooks purchase flow “is far too complicated and confusing” for listeners, claiming that this is the only interface that Apple would accept after a series of rejections of its updated iOS app.
So, anyone tapping on the locked play button when they find an audiobook in-app simply gets a ‘Want to listen? You can’t buy audiobooks in the app. We know, it’s not ideal’ message, with no information on how they can buy elsewhere. The feature works in Spotify’s web app though.
We’ll never cease to be boggled at the price of audiobooks either. In the UK, fiction hit Richard Osman’s ‘The Bullet That Missed’ is £19.49 on Spotify, while former Friends star Matthew Perry’s ‘Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing’ autobiogaphy is £29.90 – only pennies less than three months of Spotify Premium.