Spotify subscribers will be able to find one new feature in their app today: audiobooks. The company launches its audiobooks feature today in the U.S. with a library of 300,000 books from major publishing houses, indie publishers, and amateur audiobook authors. Audiobook listeners will be able to sample books before buying them à la carte at publisher-set prices, and once a title is decided upon, the purchase will be completed off-app.
The head of audiobooks at Spotify, Nir Zicherman, says this method of purchasing is just the beginning, stating “While we have ambitions to introduce new audiobook business models in the future, in speaking with partners across the industry, we felt that à la carte was the best way to begin activating audiobooks.”
A vital component of the possible future business model is the audiobook company Findaway, which Spotify bought earlier this year. Through Findaway, amateur audiobook authors can produce audiobooks and make money from them. With the new Spotify audiobooks launch, amateur audiobook authors can upload their work to the app as they can with other audiobook platforms. In the future, though, Spotify may run ads within these self-published audiobooks, as amateur creators may be more willing to accept sponsors compared to major publishers. This could result in free audiobooks for readers.
Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.