Spotify dives deeper into literature with free audiobook trial for subscribers

Spotify, the popular music streaming giant, is set to expand its offerings by launching a free audiobook trial for its subscribers, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. 

This exciting pilot programme will feature a selection of titles from some of the largest publishers in the United States, allowing users to enjoy up to 20 hours of audiobook content per month, roughly equivalent to two audiobooks.

While Spotify initially ventured into the world of audiobooks last year after acquiring Findaway, their approach was different, utilising a pay-per-download model. Users were required to purchase audiobooks via a web browser to bypass Apple’s 30 per cent commission on in-app purchases. However, the upcoming pilot programme will streamline the process by enabling users to download audiobooks directly within the Spotify app.

The rollout is expected to begin in English-speaking countries on a limited scale, featuring a broad range of available titles. The compensation structure for publishers remains somewhat unclear, with reports suggesting that payments may be tied to the duration of user engagement with the audiobooks.

Spotify’s expansion into the audiobook realm mirrors its strategy with podcasts, aimed at diversifying its services and revenue streams. This move represents a direct challenge to Amazon’s Audible service, which held a dominating 63.4 percent share of the audiobook market and generated approximately $1.8 billion in sales as of 2022.

This initiative comes on the heels of Spotify’s first price increase in over a decade, which took effect in July. Additionally, the company has begun testing the placement of in-app lyrics behind a Premium paywall, as it continues to enhance the value proposition for its subscribers.


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