Spotify is eyeing a new sound-based frontier: audiobooks.
The music streaming company held its second Investor Day event on Wednesday, where CEO Daniel Ek revealed the company’s new foray into the world of audiobooks, calling it a “big opportunity.” Ek said he wants to compete with the other “key player who dominates the space,” referencing Amazon and its audiobook platform, Audible, which is the only rival of note.
Spotify didn’t reveal much of its plan of attack, but it did give some details in its presentation.
Spotify’s research and development director Gustav Söderström said the audiobook feature will launch later this year to its 400 million listeners, but did not give a specific date.
Audiobooks will also be better integrated into the main app.
In case you didn’t know (and no one can blame you), Spotify already has audiobooks on their platform, but they’re pretty hard to find. You can type “audiobooks” in Spotify search bar and find multiple audiobook playlists as one for The Lord of the Rings but is not like they are properly advertised.
We know that the Findaway audiobook platform, that Spotify acquired in late 2021, will be leading the charge. The idea is that Spotify will use Findaway’s “expertise and infrastructure” audiobook to build the new feature. During the event, Findaway Voices was listed as an example. It is a service that connects authors with voice actors to read and record an audiobook. Once registered, Findaway handles the distribution.
Spotify didn’t offer any further details, but it’s safe to assume that Spotify audiobooks will have their own section in the main app, like podcasts. No word on whether listeners will pay more for the new service or if they can buy books separately, as they do on Audible.
We asked Spotify for more details and an exact release date for the revamped audiobook feature, but we were met with silence.
Analysis: empire expansion
In recent years, Spotify has aggressively expanded its audio empire and attracted new customers. The renewed podcasts quickly proved to be a wise investment as Spotify reached 165 million premium members within a few months of launching the new service. Now if only Spotify was committed to this starting HiFi audio to your platform.
For book lovers, has a list of best audiobook sites for the year.