After several movements that indicated that this day was approaching, Spotify has officially added audiobooks as another listening option in your app. Starting today, US users will have a dedicated format section that allows standalone purchases via a web link. At launch, the company says its library will contain more than 300,000 titles.
As well as their own section alongside music and podcasts, audiobooks will appear in your recommendations on the front page. When you dive into the audiobooks tab, you’ll see a collection of selections from Spotify at launch. Over time, this section will be tailored to your activity, just like any other content recommended to you on the Service. The service’s library of titles will also appear in search results like artists, albums, songs and podcasts already do.
When you select an audiobook, you’ll see a lock icon on the play button indicating that you haven’t purchased the title yet. If you choose to do so, a link will take you to a browser to complete the transaction before sending you back to Spotify to start listening. All purchased titles will automatically appear in your library and will be available for offline listening. Like podcasts, the service will offer speed controls so you can listen at your preferred pace.
Spotify has been following this path for quite some time. The service offered an audio version of Harry potter and the Philosopher’s Stone read by various celebrities in the spring of 2020. In a trial early last year, the company added a selection of public domain books in spoken word format, again read by a list of famous names. Spotify then announced that Storytel subscribers would be able to link their account to the streaming service, as the audiobook platform was one of the first major publishers to take advantage of Spotify’s open access platform (OAP). The technology allows publishers and creators to stream their content through Spotify while using their existing login system. In November, Spotify acquired Findaway, an audiobook platform with more than 325,000 titles and tools for creators. Apparently, that was the last piece of the puzzle.
Spotify is clear that this is “the first iteration” of audiobooks on its platform. The company plans to take notes and see what needs to be changed before expanding into other markets. He also wants to “innovate the format” so that listeners, authors and publishers benefit more from what the format has to offer.
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