Spotify Technology SA has started allowing its users to buy audiobooks from the app. The new feature aims at drawing more customers while keeping the existing uses of the popular music streaming app. For now, the option is available in the US version of the app but we can expect the rollout in other regions soon.
The Swedish company is reportedly starting off by offering over 300,000 popular audiobooks. This includes content from five major publishing houses. Importantly, buyers will be able to enjoy listening to their favorite audiobooks without ads.
The available audiobooks are not exclusive to Spotify. The existing app users won’t receive discounts or benefits for buying them. But the company says it could introduce various ‘business models.’
Audiobooks are a “substantially untapped” zone for business, Nir Zicherman, global head of audiobooks and gated content at Spotify, said in a press meet recently.
Spotify is cashing in on a potentially thriving prospect
Earlier, he noted that audiobooks represent 6% to 7% of the $140-billion book industry meanwhile, they are growing steadily at about 20% a year.
Integration of audiobook buying could be a profitable prospect for both the company and its users. The move is complemented by its recent effort too.
In June, Spotify acquired Findaway for $ 117 million. It is an audiobook distributor, which is part of the feature the app is so ambitious of.
Book writers who render their audiobooks through Findaway can turn in their books to Spotify.
Spotify will also experiment with different algorithms to help better connect with customers for audiobooks.
Zicherman added that currently, the service is just at its start in terms of characteristics. The books’ costs are determined by Spotify and decided by the title. The agreement with publishers on royalty payment is also included in the final cost.
While listening, users will be able to adjust the playback speed of an audiobook, and also download content for offline listening. Rating the book is also among the available features.
Do you think it would be cool to be able to buy and listen to audiobooks from Spotify? Would you subscribe to the feature when it is available for you? Do share in the comments below.
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