Streaming giant Spotify has finally rolled out its long-awaited Spotify Audiobooks service in the United Kingdom this week. Having already launched in the United States, the UK service looks to provide Spotify users with an initial 300,000 audiobooks including exclusive first-run audiobook titles.
There is a catch however, the audiobooks on offer are for purchasing through the Spotify app rather than included in the monthly subscription much like the streaming platform’s podcasting service. UK users will notice that audiobooks will have a padlock icon over the top of the book cover, with purchases made coming out of the same account subscription fees are taken from.
Despite the additional cost, Spotify Audiobooks has some exclusive titles to challenge the corner of the market Amazon hascapitalised on so far with their Audible service. They include Tom Felton’s memoir Beyond the Wand, Alex Scott’s How (Not) to Be Strong autobiography and Richard Osman’s latest crime novel, The Bullet That Missed.
Speaking about the launch of Spotify Audiobooks, Spotify’s vice-president and global head of Audiobooks and Gated Content Nir Zichermann said “We’ve always believed that the potential for audio is limitless, and we’ve been saying for a while now that our ambition is to be the complete package for everyone’s listening needs. Audiobooks are next to come into the picture because we see a substantial untapped market.
“While audiobooks represent just a 6%–7% share of the wider book market, the category is growing by 20% year over year. But what we’re really excited about is providing a great new experience for listeners—introducing audiobooks to an audience of people who may never have tried them otherwise. By bringing audiobooks to Spotify, we have the opportunity to both grow the space as a whole and enrich listeners’ lives.”
Spotify Audiobooks is the latest move for the streaming service to cement its business in the ever growing and changing digital audio landscape. Earlier this year, Spotify bought the rights to popular daily quiz Heardle, while there has been talk of incorporating recorded audio from users akin to the Clubhouse social media platform.