Spotify has a great reason why it's launching Premium audiobooks in UK and Australia first

US to get the new Spotify Premium incentive later

Spotify Audiobooks
(Image credit: Rik Henderson / Future)

Spotify has explained to T3 why it has chosen the UK and Australia to debut its "Audiobooks in Premium" service, rather than the US.

It's primarily because British and Australian Spotify Premium members are "willing to try new things".

We talked with Spotify's vice president of business affairs, David Kaefer, who explained that both the UK and Australia are great markets to trial new features: "A lot of times we will test something before its formal rollout in these markets, and certainly sometimes we'll launch things first there," he said.

In addition "the book industry is very established in these two markets. There's a lot of book lovers – both on the audio side and, you know, physical books."

That's not to say that the US doesn't get its own benefits. For starters, it may get an enhanced version of the service that has been improved through field testing when it launches this "winter": "Whenever you do something big, you want the opportunity to make some tweaks here and there," continued Kaefer.

"Some of those changes may not even be visible to the user. [But], we'll be able to make some fine tuning before we bring it out in the US, which is, of course, our largest market."

David Kaefer - Spotify

(Image credit: Spotify)

Spotify's new service is for Premium members only. It gives 15 hours of audiobook listening time per month, all as part of a regular Premium subscription.

More than 150,000 books are available as part of Audiobooks in Premium and it can be found directly on a user's homescreen.

You can use your 15 hours (which refreshes at the end of each calendar month) on as many audiobooks as you like - although a typical book can take around seven to 10 hours to finish. That's why Spotify chose that specific amount of time limit: "People can definitely listen to one, most people will listen to two books in a month," revealed Kaefer.

Spotify Premium costs £10.99 / $10.99 / AUS$12.99 per month for a single person Premium subscription, £17.99 / $16.99 / AUS$21.99 per month for a family of six.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.