Spotify Users Can Now Buy Audiobooks in the US App

    The streaming giant is tapping into the $140 billion book business
    By: BLOOMBERG
    | Updated on: Sep 22 2022, 15:58 IST
    Spotify
    Spotify is tapping into the $140 billion book business.  (Bloomberg)
    Spotify
    Spotify is tapping into the $140 billion book business.  (Bloomberg)

    Spotify Technology SA has started selling audiobooks on its US app, allowing the music streaming giant to draw in new customers and keep existing ones closer.

    The Swedish company will start by offering more than 300,000 titles, including those from the five biggest publishing houses, and customers will be able to listen to them without ads. None of the books are exclusive to Spotify, and existing app subscribers don't get any discounts or additional perks, though the company said it plans to experiment with different business models.

    Audiobooks represent a “substantially untapped” market, Nir Zicherman, global head of audiobooks and gated content at Spotify, said in a press briefing Monday. They account for 6% to 7% of the $140 billion book industry and the category is growing by about 20% a year, he said earlier this year.

    In June Spotify completed a €117 million ($117 million) purchase of Findaway, an audiobook distributor, which will factor into the new storefront. Authors who publish through the platform can submit their books to Spotify. Zicherman also said the company is seeking to use algorithms to better connect customers with literary content, though for now it's using human curation efforts.

    Zicherman stressed that the current version of the audiobook purchase platform is only a first go. All pricing is set by Spotify and individually decided by title, as is each agreement with publishers about royalty payments. Users will be able to adjust a book's playback speed, download content for offline listening and rate their books.

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    First Published Date: 21 Sep, 00:03 IST
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