Spotify is expanding its audiobook offering outside the U.S. The service is now accessible in the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, allowing users to stream Spotify’s audiobook repertoire.
The firm introduced audiobook support in the U.S. in September, offering 300,000 titles. These can be found in Spotify’s “Audiobooks” hub and tailored recommendations. The business claimed Spotify editors will initially recommend titles to consumers. Spotify will eventually utilize artificial recommendations to offer titles to consumers as it does with music and podcasts.
The company told TechCrunch that consumers in the newly added markets will have access to the same titles as in the U.S. (300K+). Still, it declined to divulge how many Spotify users have bought audiobooks since the service’s inception.
Spotify, like other audiobook apps, lets you download titles for offline listening, rate titles, adjust playback speed, and listen across devices.
The Spotify app’s audiobook implementation leaves consumers wanting. The company doesn’t want to provide in-app purchases since it would have to pay Apple or Google a percentage. Users must first visit Spotify’s website to buy the book, then return to the app to access it. Spotify’s app doesn’t link to its website. When a user clicks “play” on an audiobook, a notice says, “You can’t buy audiobooks in the app.” It’s not perfect.”
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, whose business filed an antitrust complaint against Apple over four years ago, identified this situation as another way Apple is “harming the internet economy” and “choking competition”
Other services have circumvented Apple’s rules. Amazon-owned Audible sells in-app audiobook subscriptions and “credits.”
Apple modified its rules this year to enable “reader” apps, including audiobook providers, to link to their websites to create or manage accounts. Spotify users can examine their current plan in their account settings and upgrade or decrease it. This opens Spotify’s website. The firm says, “You can’t change your plan in-app.” It’s not perfect.” This settings screen doesn’t link to the audiobook page.
Spotify plans to improve audiobook discovery, expand to new markets, and introduce new formats and ways to interact with content. When it acquired digital audiobook distributor Findaway last year, the business said audiobooks might be a new revenue source. The sector is predicted to expand from $3.3 billion in 2020 to $15 billion by 2027.