After some moves that suggested this day was coming, Spotify has Audiobooks added officially as another listening option in its app. Starting today, users in the US will have a section dedicated to the format allowing standalone purchases via weblink. At launch, the company says its library will hold more than 300,000 titles.
In addition to their own section along with music and podcasts, audiobooks will show up in your recommendations on the main page. When you drill down 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 show up in search results as artists, albums, songs, and podcasts do.
When you select an audiobook, you’ll see a lock icon on the play button that indicates you haven’t purchased the book. If you decide to do so, a link will launch you to the browser to complete the transaction before returning you to Spotify to start listening. Any purchased titles will automatically appear in your library and be available for offline listening. Just like podcasts, the service will provide speed controls so you can listen at your preferred speed.
Spotify has been going down this path for quite some time. The service provides an audio version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone read by various celebrities in spring 2020. In a test early last year, the company added an option public domain book in speech format – again read by a list of famous names. Spotify then announced that Storytel subscribers will be able to link their accounts to the streaming service as the audiobook platform is one of the first major publishers to take advantage of Spotify’s Open Access Platform (OAP). This technology allows publishers and creators to stream their content through Spotify while using their existing login system. In November, Spotify get Findaway, an audiobook platform with over 325,000 titles and tools for creators. That seems to be the final piece of the puzzle.
Spotify is apparently the “first iteration” of audiobooks on its platform. The company plans to take notes and see what needs to change before expanding into other markets. It also wants to “innovate the format” so that listeners, authors and publishers benefit more from what the format can offer.
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