Spotify Takes on Amazon’s Audible, Launches 300,000 Audiobooks for US Users

Music streaming giant Spotify Technology S.A. launched on Tuesday its audiobook service for U.S. consumers after its acquisition of global audiobook distributor Findaway back in June.

The Swedish company has made over 300,000 audiobooks available on a pay-per-download basis, from independent authors to major publishers, challenging the U.S.’s largest audiobook service Audible of Amazon Inc.

Users will be able to browse the catalog on the Spotify app and purchase through the website, similar to the purchase of a Spotify subscription, the company said.

Spotify is also currently battling Apple over its in-app purchase policy, over time it will direct users to buy audiobooks through a web browser rather than in-app, meaning Apple won’t get up to a 30 percent commission on downloads.

Spotify said it will work to add algorithmic recommendations based on user listening habits.

$4.8 Billion Audiobook Market

The audiobook market was valued at $4.8 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of about 14 percent to $9.3 billion by 2026, according to media consultancy Omdia.

Spotify’s vice president and head of audiobooks Nir Zicherman said that audiobooks represent 6-7 percent of the global book market, but are growing at 20 percent year on year.

Spotify has charted an aggressive expansion path as it looks to supplement its earnings from music streaming with other revenue-generating formats such as podcasts, on which it has spent more than $1 billion to add popular names such as Joe Rogan to its roster.

Reuters contributed to this report