While adding audiobooks, Spotify’s lagging service doesn’t provide anything new.

Do you enjoy hearing things? Take note of this. Spotify now provides access to audiobooks. Do you still hear me? Pay close attention. At this point, nothing makes listening to an audiobook on Spotify superior to any other app.

Spotify acquired the audiobook firm Findaway in November. According to the company’s claims, Spotify might even go so far as to produce audiobooks, possibly competing with Amazon’s Audible originals.

Spotify only offered a basic service initially made available to the U.S. market in its announcement post on Tuesday. Any purchased title can also be downloaded for offline listening.

Additionally, the corporation promised that customers could alter the audio’s tempo. According to a statement sent to Gizmodo by Spotify, the various speed settings are comparable to already-available features in the app that “retain audio quality while enabling flexibility.” The business noted that, at least for now, no advertisements are currently playing in audiobooks.

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And that’s where the features stop, and there are many things about this that give the impression that Spotify’s first foray into audiobooks is inferior to those of the competition. The software does not allow you to purchase audiobooks. Instead of sending you an email to a link where you may purchase the audiobook on the Spotify website, clicking a title within the mobile Spotify app will send you that email. After making the audiobook purchase online, it is added to your Spotify account. Naturally, it then tries to get you to subscribe to Spotify premium while it’s doing it.

This is an odd way to go about things, especially given that research indicates that most consumers listen to audiobooks on their cellphones. Spotify has not yet made it possible to buy things while using the service, which is a significant error given the competition Spotify faces.

If you want to start listening to audiobooks on Spotify, having a subscription is likewise of little use. Only a few available audiobooks are discounted from their full retail cost; the others are available a la carte. Spotify does not provide a monthly membership plan like Audible’s premium plus subscription plan, which costs around $15 per month and grants consumers one credit redeemable for any audiobook. The cost of an audiobook might range from $20 to more than $30.

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It appears that Spotify has done a decent job of cataloguing the books it has to offer. Stephen King’s The Dark Tower and she-who-must-not-be-Harry named’s Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (the Jim Dale version, for those who prefer Stephen Fry’s rendering) are two perennially well-liked audiobook adaptations among the first 300,000 titles. You can get The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin or Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey. Some are Nicholas Sparks, some James Pattersons, and classics like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower for the more, ahem, “basic” among you. The selection of books for Black voices and LGBTQIA+ representation also seems well-organized.

When switching from a podcast to something longer, buying an audiobook on Spotify saves you from switching between apps. Still, Spotify’s most recent effort to take over the whole digital audio market appears rather poor. In their statement, the business noted that this is “only the first version” of the new service and that they have plans to expand into new markets “and innovate on the format to benefit listeners, authors, and publishers.”

And now for the issue. There are very few audiobooks that cost money. Through their Libby app, OverDrive collaborates with the majority of libraries. Sure, you’ll lose access to the book after roughly a month, but do I need to mention that it’s free and boosts your local library’s circulation statistics? (which helps libraries when they go out seeking public and private funding). The greatest problem you can encounter when utilizing Libby is if your neighbourhood library doesn’t have all the books you might need.

The basic service that Spotify offers is nothing to get too enthused about. According to earlier statements, the company appears to have huge plans, but for the time being, providing anything unique compared to rivals seems like an odd option in such a competitive field.

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