How to Listen to Over 150,000 Audiobooks for Free on Spotify

Soon, Premium subscribers will be able to get thousands of free audiobooks on Spotify. Here's how to get in on the deal—and what to expect.

If you are a fan of audiobooks or love discovering clever ways to read books for free, then you may find yourself spending a lot more time on Spotify in the near future. After announcing its foray into audiobooks last year, the digital music giant is taking things up a notch: It’s now offering thousands of free audiobooks on Spotify to subscribers.

You heard that right: If you subscribe to Spotify Premium, you’ll be able to access more than 150,000 audiobooks on Spotify—for free. It’s available now in certain parts of the world and will hit U.S. members later this year. That’s welcome news to people who already appreciate the ease of listening to music and podcasts on a single service. Pretty soon, they’ll find all of their audio entertainment in one place.

“This is uniquely Spotify, this opportunity to bring multiple forms of amazing content together and make it seamlessly easy to discover and enjoy them,” said David Kaefer, Spotify’s vice president of business affairs and the audiobooks business, in a recent interview with Spotify’s For the Record. “We want our customers to have flexibility in what they listen to. If I want to dive in and out of music or pods or audiobooks, that’s all possible.”

So, how can you listen to some of the best books of all time without spending another dime? Read on to find out.

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How can you get free audiobooks on Spotify?

This particular perk is for Spotify Premium members within the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States. If you have a Premium subscription, you’ll be able to listen to 15 hours of audiobooks for free per month. With the average audiobook running about eight to 12 hours long, Spotify Premium members have the opportunity to listen to at least one whole book for free every month—possibly more.

One important note: If you like to listen to audiobooks before bed and don’t want to completely burn through your free hours while you’re snoozing, Spotify has a fix. With the Spotify Sleep Timer, you can set the “end of chapter” feature so the audiobook ends when the current chapter does, just in case you pass out while listening to the latest book from your favorite author. That way, you still have your free hours left and you don’t have to figure out where you left off when you fell asleep.

When you hit the 15-hour limit, Spotify offers a “top up,” which lets you purchase extra hours of audiobook time in increments of 10 hours. From there, you have 12 months to use your top-up hours, which means you don’t have to commit to listening to all of your purchased hours in a single month. Save some of those for future months—you know, when you just have to finish that action-packed fantasy novel but ran out of free hours.

All of that sounds great, right? But before you get too hung up on the “free” part of the deal, know this: Because the perk is available for Spotify Premium members only, there’s still a cost attached. Unlike a regular membership, which costs nothing, a Spotify Premium membership costs $10.99 per month. If you haven’t committed yet, you can get the first month for free, giving you access to not only 15 free hours of audiobooks, but ad-free music and personalized playlists as well. This perk is also available to plan managers for Family and Duo accounts.

What books will you be able to listen to?

Spotify logo displayed on a phone screen and headphones are seen in this illustration photoNurPhoto/Getty Images

With a Premium membership, listeners will have access to more than 150,000 free audiobooks on Spotify. There are a variety of books in the current catalog, including more than 70% of the books on the New York Times bestseller list. You’ll find titles from top publishers in the book industry, such as Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster and RB Media. But you’ll also be able to find audiobooks from independent authors and publishers, including indie publishers Bolinda, Dreamscape and Pushkin.

Spotify’s Audiobooks hub features both fiction and nonfiction in a huge range of book genres, from mysteries and thrillers to romance and historical fiction to self-help and memoirs—and more.

Some of Spotify’s recent audiobook hits include the novels Happy Place by Emily Henry, Yellowface by R.F. Kuang, The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han and Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, along with the memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jenny McCurdy.

When will this be available?

As of now, free audiobooks on Spotify are available for listeners in the United Kingdom and Australia. Although it hasn’t announced a specific date, Spotify says this feature will be available to listeners in the United States later this year.

No, the wait isn’t ideal for American listeners hoping to get their hands on free audiobooks on Spotify, but if you’re looking for a way to get your hands on free books in the meantime, a Kindle Unlimited membership may be just what you need to pass the time.

Where can you find these free audiobooks on Spotify?

To find free audiobooks on Spotify, start in the Audiobooks hub. You can also access audiobooks via the search bar within Spotify; simply search for the book you want to listen to, and if it’s available in the Spotify catalog, it should pop up!

After you’ve listened to a few free audiobooks on Spotify, it will start curating your experience based on what you listen to—look out for those suggestions on your personalized home page. So if you finish an audiobook and find yourself craving more of the same, rest assured that Spotify will have a handy list of audiobook recommendations for you.

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  • Spotify: “Spotify Premium Will Include Instant Access to 150,000+ Audiobooks”
  • For the Record: “Spotify’s Audiobook Leaders Explain Why You Should Listen to Books on Spotify”
  • Spotify: “Top up audiobook hours”

Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a journalist and content strategist with a main focus on nutrition, health and wellness coverage. She holds an MA in Journalism from DePaul University and a Nutrition Science certificate from Stanford Medicine. Her work has been featured in publications including Taste of Home, Reader's Digest, Bustle, Buzzfeed, INSIDER, MSN, Eat This, Not That! and more.