Spotify without music might sound a bit like a car without wheels or a TV without a screen, but it’s a thing that’s happening. Ok, so you can still listen to music with ads like a free user, but the new “Audiobooks Access Tier” is all about the written word. 

Currently available in the US only, for $9.99 you get access to Spotify’s 200,000+ audiobooks with up to 15 hours of listening a month. When you consider the price of a regular premium subscription comes with the same 15 hours and all the music you could ever want for $11/£10.99 a month, that doesn’t sound like too brilliant a deal. 

However, if you have no real interest in streaming music, Spotify has been very clever with its pricing. Subscriptions to its main rival in the audiobook space – Audible are $15 which nets you one complete book a month. So provided you’re not listening to something aggressively long like War and Peace every month, you should get better value from Spotify. Of course, if you get caught out of minutes mid-chapter or want another dose of storytelling, you can purchase books individually.

Daniel Ek - Spotify

(Image credit: Rik Henderson / Future)

It’s yet to be known whether we will see this kind of subscription outside US shores, while I think it is quite a niche offering, it can’t hurt Spotify to try. The platform has become the go-to listening method for many podcast fans and it would make sense to have Spotify as a one-stop audio hub. It certainly is a distinguishing factor from the likes of Apple Music.

The new subscription that I (and no doubt countless others) are desperate for however isn’t anything to do with audiobooks. Just give me the much-hyped hi-fi tier and I might finally be happy. When it comes to books I prefer a physical copy (or my Kindle) but with music, Spotify has me locked in. 

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