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Spotify launches audiobooks… with an a la carte pricing model


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We knew Spotify was preparing to make a big splash in audiobooks, most recently signified by its acquisition of specialist firm Findaway. Yesterday, the company took the wrappers off its initial plans: 300k audiobooks made available to its listeners in the US.

However, this isn’t the all-you-can-eat model we’re used to with music and podcasts. Audiobooks can be discovered in Spotify’s app, but they’re locked until the user buys them individually: an a la carte model in other words.

“Users who discover audiobooks in the Spotify app will be able to purchase them on a web page. Upon returning to Spotify, the book will be automatically saved in their library and available to listen to whenever they want,” explained Spotify, while promising that it’s “just the first iteration of audiobooks on Spotify”.

Some of those plans were hinted at in a separate blog post by Spotify’s audiobooks boss Nir Zicherman. “What is out there in the world of audiobooks is only the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “And we know what that iceberg looks like under the water: it’s the millions of print books and ebooks that have yet to exist in the audio format, compared with only a few hundred thousand audiobooks in existence.”

Which is where Spotify’s Findaway acquisition, including its tools to help authors create audiobooks, comes in.


Written by: Stuart Dredge