Spotify plans to roll out a free audiobook trial for subscribers. The Wall Street Journal reports. The pilot program will include titles from some of the largest publishers in the US, and users can expect up to 20 hours of listening (about two audiobooks) per month.
Spotify first began offering audiobooks last year after acquiring Findaway, an audiobook platform. The main difference is that until now it has been using a pay-per-download model. However, as the wsj As he points out, users had to purchase audiobooks through a web browser in an attempt to circumvent Apple’s 30 percent commission for in-app purchases. Instead, the pilot program will allow users to download books directly from the app.
The program will reportedly roll out to English-speaking countries first on a limited basis, and the list of available titles is expected to be “expansive.” It’s less clear how Spotify intends to compensate publishers, although the wsj The report notes that they can receive payment based on the time users spend listening to books.
As with podcasts, Spotify’s foray into audiobooks is intended to help expand its services beyond music streaming while generating more revenue streams. In this case, it’s an obvious challenge to Amazon’s Audible service, which has a stranglehold on the audiobook market. As of 2022, Audible maintained 63.4 percent of the audiobook marketwith approximately $1.8 billion in sales.