October 6, 2022

Spotify launched a new audiobook catalog this week, making more than 300,000 titles available for US listeners to purchase. Browse the books(Opens in a new window) from authors like Stephen King, Malcolm Gladwell, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Michelle Obama, JRR Tolkien and more through your library, search and curated recommendations in Home.

Titles are locked until purchased, although people can enjoy short audio samples before clicking buy. You can’t buy audiobooks through Spotify apps, presumably so the company can avoid paying Apple and Google for the in-app purchases. But when you buy an audiobook on the web, it will sync with your account and you’ll be able to listen to it from Spotify apps.

On the web and in apps, click an audiobook cover to see details such as publication date, length, narrator(s), and description; scroll down to access individual chapters. Supported features include offline listening, auto-tagging and speed control. People are also invited to add a one-to-five star rating that will be factored into the book’s overall rating.

This audiobook debut comes about a year after Spotify acquired(Opens in a new window) digital audiobook distributor Findaway, and a few months after that, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek teased “a fully-fledged platform for artists and creators to create, engage and monetize.”

“We’ve always believed that the potential for audio is limitless, and we’ve been saying for some time that our ambition is to be the complete package for everyone’s listening needs,” Nir Zicherman, Spotify’s vice president and global head of audiobooks, he said(Opens in a new window) this week.

“We hope that users who find audiobooks in their apps starting today will find that the user experience is obvious — that audiobooks fit perfectly into the way they already use Spotify,” according to Zicherman, who outlined plans for additional markets, new features and more benefits for listeners, authors and publishers.

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Not sure what to listen to? Spotify curates lists of “Great First Audiobooks,” “Buzzworthy books,” “Quick Listen,” and “Celebrity titles,” as well as collections of Latinx, Black, AAPI, and LGBTQIA+ voices. Alternatively, users can search for specific titles or authors, or hope for the best from the algorithm’s suggestions.

“This is just the beginning of Spotify’s audiobook journey,” the company said. “We’ve worked to create a seamless audiobook experience and will continue to build and innovate in the future.”

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