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Spotify launches new service for audiobooks but Supremium is still missing

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Spotify has launched a new standalone subscription service in the US for people who just want to listen to audiobooks, the aptly named Audiobooks Access Tier.

For $9.99 a month, you’ll be given 15 hours of listening time for a catalog of over 200,000 Spotify audiobooks. These include notable series like A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin to standalone titles like The Khan by Saima Mir. Music and podcasts can still be listened to, according to the announcement. They will, however, retain commercial interruptions. Those ads aren’t going away. To get rid of them, you will need to purchase a separate Spotify Premium plan for $11 a month.  

Paying for a subscription

What’s interesting about the tier is it doesn’t appear you can sign up on the Spotify app on mobile or desktop. We checked both and it wasn’t in either one. Instead, you’ll have to go to a separate audiobook page on the company website. If you scroll down to about the midway point, you’ll find the subscription button. There isn’t a free trial period, by the way. Once you buy the plan, you’re in it until you cancel.

It’s a bit strange not having a more direct way to subscribe on the app, although Spotify says it’s for a good reason. A company representative told us doing it this way allows them to avoid passing App Store fees down to users. If you’re not aware, Spotify dropped support for App Store subscriptions back in 2016. They even booted legacy subscribers last year. 

It seems that had the platform allowed iOS users to buy directly on the app, they would’ve had to force people to pay for the Apple tax. And to make it fair for everybody, Android owners have to go through the same process – at least, that’s how we understand it. In our opinion, their explanation leaves a lot of important details out.

Missing details

As you can guess, we have several questions like will there be a way to increase listening hours? 15 hours may be okay for the casual listener, but that may be too short for the power user. The Premium plan does offer a way to add an extra 10 hours of listening time for $9.99, however this isn’t available on Audiobooks Access Tier. 

Of course, the elephant in the room here is we still don’t have Spotify Supremium which is supposed to deliver lossless audio streaming. There were some rumors hinting at an imminent launch back in September 2023, but it’s March 2024 now and people are still waiting.

So we reached out to the platform asking for more details as well as if they have plans on rolling out Audiobooks Access Tier to other countries. This story will be updated at a later time.

You can't listen to audiobooks without a good pair of headphones. For recommendations, check out TechRadar's list of the best headphones for 2024.

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