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Spotify’s Next Chapter

Published on Sept. 7, 2022, at 4:45 p.m. 
by Alice Helms.

Spotify is “the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service with a community of more than 381 million Monthly Active Users and 172 million Premium Subscribers.” On May 20, 2021, Spotify announced that it would partner with Storytel, an audiobook streaming service, within that year.

Its announcement was one of the first to its consumer public that Spotify would expand the music- and podcast-centered streaming service to audiobooks.

As someone who spends countless hours on trips and is a self-proclaimed bookworm, being able to almost effortlessly switch from music to podcasts to books without changing apps was the best news to me.

In a Spotify Newsroom release, Jonas Teller, CEO of Storytel, stated that “partnering with Spotify will make amazing audiobook experiences … we will also be tapping into the opportunity of reaching new audiences who are on Spotify today but have not yet experienced the magic of audiobooks.” Within the year, Spotify and Storytel subscribers outside the U.S. could link their two subscriptions together on the Spotify app, allowing for an easier transition.

Photo by Findaway Voices on Unsplash

With the partnership, both companies began expanding their key publics and creating a new community and relationship with each other, according to the release. Not only did internal relations begin to see the benefits, but authors and audio creators are now able to gain easier access to a wider audience. Teller noted, “This partnership illustrates the power of open access as an opportunity for audio creators.”

On Nov. 11, 2021, Spotify posted a press release to its website announcing another new partnership in the audiobook world. The release stated, “[Spotify] today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Findaway, a global leader in digital audiobook distribution.” Again, the audiobook community around the world, myself included, rejoiced.

Stepping both feet into the pond of audio entertainment, Spotify said, “The acquisition positions Spotify to revolutionize the space in the same way as music and podcasts, powering content to reach a wide audience on its global platform.”

Releasing its “test drive” audiobooks, Spotify allows premium subscribers the chance to enjoy several classic books, with some narrated by celebrities. Sarah Perez, a writer for TechCrunch, reported that Spotify “began testing the format with a handful of classics, like ‘Frankenstein,’ ‘Jane Eyre,’ ‘Persuasion’ and others, narrated by celebs.”

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Spotify has also previously offered the first “Harry Potter” book with chapters narrated by stars like Daniel Radcliffe, David Beckham and Dakota Fanning.

Spotify noted that by beginning to release audiobooks, it has a great opportunity to grow its consumer base. As an audio entertainment company, it wants to bring people together on one platform to enjoy all Spotify can offer them.

According to Ashley Carman, writer for The Verge, “It seems possible Spotify could launch new subscription tiers, similarly to Audible, to account for audiobook consumption.”

As of now, there has not been any information released about rising subscription rates, a relief to a budget-oriented college student such as myself.

By releasing audiobooks to its streaming service, Spotify is in the works to encourage everyone to enjoy audio entertainment. As book lovers like me explore the opportunity, the Spotify consumer public grows and builds a better relationship with the company and the services it offers.

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