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Upfront Honesty about Audiobook Listening Time

Upfront Honesty about Audiobook Listening Time

Spotify audio books was an extremely pleasant surprise when I first saw it advertised on my home screen as a feature included with premium, which I have! I had long been hemming and hawing about purchasing an Audible subscription, but I just couldn't justify that to myself when I can just read instead. So, I quickly scrolled through promoted selection, didn't see what I wanted, but I searched an author that I have had trouble finishing his books in the past, Fyodor Dostoevsky, the most well known and beloved person that I share a name with, someone I have always wanted to read but had trouble reading on paper, perhaps due to the translation to English. Anyway, I searched his name and see that "Crime and Punishment" one of his most famous works, has a little spotify-green tag next to it espousing "Included in Premium". I immediately begin listening and within the first few minutes I'm hooked. This is what I've been needing, now I can listen to books that I've been meaning to read for years, and I can do it while at work (I have a job in which listening to audio books does not interfere with my productivity), and while trying to fall asleep! This has been going on for a little while, when last night, as I'm getting into bed and attempting to find the spot I was listening to before I fell asleep, a notification on the screen tells me that I'm out of "audiobook listening time" and that if I want to continue listening, I must purchase top-ups, which actually can't be done on the app. "What is this all about" I think to myself, I was never informed of any kind of limit on audio books when it was introduced, no little pop-ups on my screen, no notification, no email, nothing until this so called "listening time" had been all used up. Had I known there was a limit, I would have set a sleep timer, or perhaps not even listened to this audiobook to help me fall asleep.Had I known. This is obviously some sort of new-fangled profit chasing scheme, which I understand, however, sneaky tricky tactics that enrage users is probably not the best way to go.

So, finally, my idea (besides the obvious solution of doing away with "listening time"): Tell every user CLEARLY that they only have a limited amount of "listening time" and CLEARLY state the cost of purchasing additional time. Basic honesty.

Another Iidea: When a customer plays an audiobook, it shows on screen CLEARLY, how much listening time they have.

Another idea, since this "listening time" is not unlimited and you are actually attempting to sell these nightmarish top-ups, have a timeout akin to Netflixes "Are you still watching" notification.


But seriously, be transparent about the prices you charge for these top ups, I had to log in on my desktop and navigate through three different pages before being shown that  a mere 10 hours is a whopping 13 dollars! Did you know the book I was listening to is available on Audible for $5.95, that's over 25 hours of audio book that I can listen to as much as a want.  I never would have known how affordable your competitor is if Spotify hadn't angered me enough for me to seek out alternatives. I'm telling you, this scheme is not going to increase your profits long term, but will drive long-term loyal customers like me away from spotify. Had you just told me "This is how much listening time you have" from the beginning, instead of springing it on me when I'm almost done with the book, I probably never would have felt this way. Honesty and respect are important to people.

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