Spotify Audiobooks vs Audible: Which Is Better?

In recent years, there has been a growing trend of audiobooks gaining popularity. As more people are pressed for time, audiobooks provide a convenient way to enjoy books during commutes, workouts, chores, and more. Two major players in the audiobook market are Spotify and Audible.

But how do they compare when it comes to listening to audiobooks? This comprehensive guide examines the key differences between Spotify audiobooks and Audible.

Overview of Spotify Audiobooks

Spotify is best known as a music streaming service. But in recent years, it has been expanding into podcasts and audiobooks.

Spotify audiobooks launched in 2022 and is still building up its audiobook catalog. As of late 2022, Spotify offers more than 300,000 audiobook titles. Its library focuses primarily on classic books and bestsellers.

Overview of Spotify Audiobooks

Some key things to know about Spotify audiobooks:

  1. Available for free and premium members – Audiobooks can be accessed by all users regardless of subscription tier. However, free members have limited functionality.
  2. Offers recommendations based on your tastes – Spotify will suggest audiobook titles using its recommendation algorithm, similar to how it recommends music and podcasts.
  3. Can sync progress across devices – Your listening progress syncs across mobile, desktop, tablet, and other devices when logged into your Spotify account.
  4. Lacks browsing categories and advanced search – The audiobook user experience is still barebones compared to Audible.

Overview of Audible

Owned by Amazon, Audible pioneered the audiobook industry and remains the dominant player. As of 2022, it offers over 725,000 audiobook titles across genres and languages.

Overview of Audible

Here are some key Audible features:

  1. Market-leading selection from major publishers to indie authors
  2. Original audiobook productions not available anywhere else
  3. Whispersync for Voice to easily switch between reading Kindle ebooks & listening to audiobooks
  4. Audible Plus subscription includes a selection of audiobooks and podcasts
  5. Daily Deals offer deep discounts on select titles
  6. Advanced algorithms for personalized recommendations
  7. Interactive user experience with browsing categories, advanced search filters, user reviews, and ratings

Now that you understand the basics of each service’s audiobook offering, let’s compare them head-to-head.

Spotify vs Audible for Audiobooks: Key Differences

1. Audiobook Selection

Without question, Audible has a much wider catalog of audiobook titles – over 725,000 as of 2022. Spotify is just getting started in the audiobook space and has around 300,000 titles.

Audible also often secures exclusive rights to bestselling titles and celebrity-narrated memoirs. Its original productions, funded by its Audible Studios arm, are likewise exclusive to the platform.

Winner: Audible is the clear winner when it comes to overall audiobook selection. But hardcore book lovers may want access to both libraries to expand their options.

2. Pricing and Bills

Both platforms offer free trials for first-time users – 30 days for Spotify and 60 days for Audible. But once the trial ends, Spotify pulls ahead when it comes to pricing.

Spotify Audiobook Pricing

Free tier – Access full audiobook catalog but limited to shuffle play

  • Spotify Premium ($9.99/month) – Normal playback, offline download, unlimited skips
  • Spotify student ($4.99/month) – Same perks as Premium at 50% off

So if you already pay for Spotify Premium, you get full access to audiobooks at no extra cost. Or you can upgrade to Premium just for the audiobook capabilities.

Spotify Premium for Single use

Audible Pricing

  • Audible Plus ($7.95/month) – Gives access to Plus a selection of audiobooks & podcasts. Buy individual a la carte audiobooks ranging from $10-$50+
  • Audible Premium Plus ($14.95/month) – 1 credit per month for any title + Plus catalog + 30% off additional audiobooks

Audible Pricing

Therefore, you need an Audible subscription to access its full catalog every month. Depending on your listening frequency, those monthly fees can add up higher than Spotify over time.

The a la carte option gives you more flexibility and control over spending. But purchasing enough audiobooks individually to rival an unlimited listening subscription negates any savings.

3. Listening Experience

Both platforms enable you to seamlessly listen across devices and pick up where you left off when switching devices.

However, Audible has a major edge with its Whispersync for Voice feature. This lets you switch back and forth between the Kindle and Audible versions of a title. Your place is bookmarked in both formats, which is super convenient.

Audible also gives you more listening speed flexibility – from 0.5x speed up to 3x speed. Spotify caps spoken playback speeds. So Audible offers a superior listening experience overall.

4. Discoverability & Recommendations

When it comes to discovering new audiobooks and personalized picks, Audible has a strong advantage. Users can browse Audible by:

  • Genre
  • Most popular
  • New releases
  • Audible originals
  • Great on Audible – top-rated on service
  • Plus catalog
  • Daily deals

You can also filter search results by price, release date, length, etc. Ratings, reviews, and listening time estimates help guide selection.

By comparison, Spotify just surfaces recommended titles on a very rudimentary level. Audible’s metadata and algorithms offer more paths to engage with its vast library.

Winner: So again, Audible is better for exploration – especially helpful given its much larger catalog size.

Verdict: Which Platform Is Better?

Verdict Which Platform Is Better

When assessing Spotify vs Audible purely for consuming a wide selection of audiobooks, the winner is clear:

Audible is the #1 choice for diehard audiobook lovers.

Reasons why Audible wins out:

  • A much larger catalog of titles, including exclusives
  • Whispersync for Voice puts it over the top
  • Unmatched experience discovering books & personalized picks

However, there are two instances where Spotify audiobook integration would be my recommendation:

  1. You already subscribe to Spotify Premium – the added perk of audiobooks is just a bonus at no extra charge!
  2. You want a minimalist, low-commitment entry point into audiobooks – especially if unsure whether you’ll listen enough monthly to justify an Audible membership. Spotify allows you to dip your toe in for free or low cost.

Either option serves up unlimited audiobook entertainment. Weigh the pros and cons to determine which provider best matches your listening preferences and budget!

Happy listening to whichever service brings more audiobooks into your life!


Audiobook listening has skyrocketed as digital streaming makes enjoying literature convenient anywhere, any time. Both Spotify and Audible hope to capitalize on the growing consumer demand for audio formats.

For now, Audible still firmly dominates as the top destination for accessing the latest blockbuster audiobooks. Yet Spotify offers a low-barrier, budget-friendly means to dip into popular audiobooks.

Casual listeners are well-served by Spotify integration at no extra charge for Premium subscribers. But hardcore audiophiles will prefer Audible’s vastly superior catalog options, exclusives, and UX.

No matter which audiobook platform you select, happy listening to the latest audiobook hits gives your shelves a break! Let your ears get sucked into fictional realms and intriguing true tales through the magic of streaming speech.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Still, deciding between Spotify and Audible for your audiobook needs? Here are answers to five common questions for further comparison.

Does Spotify have all the same audiobooks as Audible?

No. Audible has a much larger catalog of over 725,000 audiobook titles as of 2022. Spotify currently offers around 300,000 titles. Many new releases and exclusive productions are only available on Audible.

Can I listen to an audiobook on multiple devices?

Yes! Both Spotify and Audible allow you to seamlessly pick up reading progress across devices when logged into your account. Your place will be bookmarked when switching from desktop to phone to tablet and more.

How much data do audiobooks use?

Audiobook data usage depends on audio quality but averages 90MB per hour for standard quality. Both Spotify and Audible allow you to select lower-quality options to save data when listening on the go. Audiobooks use far less data than video streaming.

Can I return an Audible audiobook?

Audible allows you to return any purchased a la carte title within 12 months for a full refund, no questions asked. You can then swap out that credit for another book. But for Audible Premium Plus titles, your monthly credit cannot be exchanged after redeeming.

Is Spotify creating original audiobooks?

Not at this time. One advantage of Audible is exclusive original productions you can’t get anywhere else. Spotify is still focused on striking deals with major publishers to grow its existing catalog. So for now, Audible is producing far more exclusive audiobook content.

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