How to Listen to Audiobooks on Spotify

how to listen to audiobooks on spotify

Spotify is primarily known as a streaming music service. More recently, it has aimed to become the go-to destination for podcasts. Now, Spotify has launched a new audiobook offering with nine exclusive titles narrated by actors and celebrities.

Original Spotify Audiobooks

Spotify started experimenting with original audiobooks in 2020, bringing the first Harry Potter book to the platform – narrated by Daniel Radcliffe, David Beckham, and Dakota Fanning. As this was licensed content, it was only available for a limited amount of time. Later in the year, Spotify advertised for a Head of Audiobooks, signaling its ambitions in the space.

In January 2021, Spotify released a range of original audiobooks. Currently, the selection is made up of classic public domain works (i.e. Spotify didn’t have to pay to license the work) with narration from actors and celebrities. All of these audiobooks are free for every Spotify member, no matter your plan, though Premium subscribers can listen to them without ads.

Here’s a list of the titles and narrators you can listen to exclusively on Spotify: 

  • Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley and narrated by David Dobrik
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, written by Frederick Douglass and narrated by Forest Whitaker
  • The Awakening, written by Kate Chopin and narrated by Hilary Swank
  • Cane, written by Jean Toomer and narrated by Audra McDonald
  • Persuasion, written by Jane Austen and narrated by Cynthia Erivo
  • Great Expectations, written by Charles Dickens and narrated by James Langton
  • Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Brontë and narrated by Sarah Coombs
  • Passing, written by Nella Larsen and narrated by Bahni Turpin
  • Red Badge of Courage, written by Stephen Crane and narrated by Santino Fontana

As a bonus, each audiobook comes with a 10-15 minute chapter of critical analysis from Harvard Professor Glenda Carpio called Sitting with the Classics

How to Listen to Audiobooks on Spotify

To listen to these original audiobooks on Spotify:

  1. Open Spotify on the desktop and select Browse from the menu on the left. (In the mobile app, tap Search.)
  2. Select Podcasts.
  3. Select Stories.
  4. Hover over the cover art and select the Play button to start listening, or select the audiobook to see more details.

Each chapter is usually available as an individual track. The audiobooks are available for free and premium users. If you’re a Spotify Premium member, you can download the audiobook for offline listening.

Spotify has plans to launch the audiobooks globally, but for now, they’re only being promoted as a pilot project in English-speaking markets including the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and Denmark.

More Audiobooks on Spotify

Audiobooks aren’t actually new to Spotify; the service has for many years had audiobooks produced by other parties (although they have been difficult to find).

To help you find the best audiobooks on Spotify, we maintain a regularly updated list of titles here: Best Audiobooks on Spotify.

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