Spotify is making a new push into the audiobook market, announcing that paying subscribers can now access up to 15 hours of free audiobook content per month from a selection of 150,000 titles.
Last year, the music streaming giant announced that users will be able to purchase and listen to 300,000 audiobooks on the platform. Now, about half of this catalog will be accessible to Spotify Premium subscribers.
The feature will initially be available to all Premium individual accounts, as well as Family and Duo plan managers. This offering will launch in the UK and Australia today (October 4), with a later rollout in the US, Spotify said in a blog post.
The move is aimed at providing Spotify Premium customers a taste of audiobooks in the hopes of enticing them to explore and purchase additional titles on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Marked under “Included in Premium,” any audiobook within the Spotify Premium catalog will be available for streaming. Additionally, users with Premium audiobook access will have the option to download content for offline listening. The platform includes an automatic bookmarking feature for easy resumption from where the listening was left off.
Spotify’s audiobook selection covers more than 70% of bestsellers, sourced from publishers such as Hachette, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and RB Media. Independent authors and publishers, including Bolinda, Dreamscape, and Pushkin, are also featured in the collection.
Spotify’s foray into audiobooks started in 2018 when it signed an exclusive deal with UK-based publisher Bloomsbury Publishing for its 33 1/3 series of short books about popular music.
“Audiobooks today have one big dominating player. And just like in music and podcasting, we believe that many more consumers want to consume audiobooks and want to listen to audiobooks.”
Daniel Ek, Spotify
The company now strives to establish itself as a comprehensive platform for audio content, encompassing music, podcasts, and books, challenging Amazon, which also offers the same services. In 2020, Amazon, which already owns audiobook service Audible, was reported to be investing in podcasts to challenge Spotify.
Amazon’s Audible Plus or Audible Premium Plus membership is separate from a Prime membership.
Meanwhile, speaking at an event in New York to announce Spotify’s new audiobook offering, CEO Daniel Ek said: “Audiobooks today have one big dominating player. And just like in music and podcasting, we believe that many more consumers want to consume audiobooks and want to listen to audiobooks.”
“And just like in music and podcasting, we’re really excited to be able to bring all the amazing tools that we built for creators and consumers alike to enable more discovery of these amazing audiobooks to the entire world,” Ek was quoted by TechCrunch as saying.
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