Spotify audiobooks – Spotify revealed what’s next for its audiobooks services today. On Tuesday afternoon, the firm held an event in its New York offices to introduce a new revenue model in which it will now provide Spotify Premium users with free access to a subset of its audiobooks repertoire – a total of 150,000 titles.
The service will be available in the United Kingdom and Australia today and will be available in the United States later this year, with additional markets to follow.
“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,” said Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek, speaking at the event. “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,” he added.
Spotify launched audiobooks in the United States in September 2022, powered by its acquisition of digital audiobook distributor Findaway, with a portfolio of 300,000 titles to begin, before spreading to other English-speaking regions later that year and Canada in early 2023.
Spotify touted the service’s ability to tap into a burgeoning industry when it launched last year, saying that audiobooks had only a 6% to 7% proportion of the overall book market but were expanding by 20% year over year.
However, using Spotify’s service has not been as simple for customers as it could be because the firm sought to circumvent app store laws governing in-app transactions by asking users to purchase audiobooks via the Spotify website in order to play them in its app. Furthermore, Spotify was unable to refer clients to the website due to the app stores’ “anti-steering” policies, which prohibit app developers from directing to alternative payment mechanisms other than the app stores’ own payment mechanisms.
End users will find it easier to read books now that they have access to audiobooks as part of the Premium service.
Ek stated that this shift will benefit the company by improving user engagement and decreasing attrition. Furthermore, he stated that it provides “great flexibility to our business, which will then ultimately help our revenue and profit.”
The business also stated that the audiobook market now has a distribution and discovery problem, which Spotify intends to fix in the same way that it has for music and podcasts.
“Tens of millions of Premium subscribers are already interested in listening to audiobooks,” said Spotify co-president and chief business officer Alex Norström. “They just need the opportunity.”
He also mentioned that while predictions show that 2 billion people would read a book this year, the audiobook market remains small.
Despite the fact that Spotify’s audiobooks catalog began with 300,000 titles, only half of them are available with the Premium subscription. Subscribers will be able to read as many books as they desire, but the service will be limited to 15 hours each month. However, customers will be able to purchase an additional 10 hours as a “top-off.”
Along with the launch, Spotify will provide users with editorial book recommendations as well as tailored choices based on their preferences.
“We’re going to feature editorial recommendations, curated by a diverse team of experts. And these will appear in the audiobooks hub,” explained Spotify VP, Head of Audiobooks Business, David Kaefer. This hub will include feature shelves that highlight popular genres as well.
“We’re also going to make recommendations guided by a streamlined taste onboarding,” he continued. “This is something that every listener is going to get as soon as they access their application. And it’s going to prompt users to choose some of their favorite titles and some of their favorite genres. That’s how we’re going to begin to learn how we’re going to begin to suggest the right titles to each listener,” Kaefer added.
He stated that testing to personalize audiobook recommendations are already beginning, and that they will appear in the app’s Home feed, putting them in front of tens of millions of consumers every day.
Meanwhile, authors will receive access to additional tools, like as customizable promo cards with images, to help them attract consumers’ attention. Later, Spotify will provide more advanced tools to help authors analyze how their titles are performing.
As the functionality becomes available in supported markets, the available audiobooks that are part of the Premium offering will have a flag next to them to let subscribers know they may stream the book for free.
Users will also be able to construct audiobook playlists and share their favorite audiobooks on social media using built-in sharing features.
“We’ve got instant access. We’ve got discovery. We’ve got front-and-center placement, easy social amplification, and dedicated tools,” Kaefer concluded. “And all of these things are going to help increase the number of people listening to audiobooks and help listeners engage with the format with less friction,” he said.