Music streaming giant Spotify is testing a plan to offer up to 20 hours of audiobooks from its platform at no additional costs.
With over 350 million users and 150 million subscribers, Spotify is the dominant player when it comes to music.
But the company’s earnings have been inconsistent with the stock price dipping from an all-time high of $364 per share in Feb. 2021 to an all-time low of $71 per share late last year.
The company continues to look for ways to lock in listeners beyond just music, with recent partnerships with podcasting giant Patreon.
Spotify first began offering audiobooks via its platform when it partnered with Storytel in 2021 which gave some Spotify listeners access to over 500,000 audiobooks across 25 countries.
But the company didn’t make audiobooks available to its 100 million listeners in the US until last year when it opened up a library of 300,000 books.
These books are available to purchase on a per-title basis setting Spotify up for a showdown with Amazon and its dominant audio book service Audible.
The stakes are high. “The audiobook market is expected to grow from $3.3 billion to $15 billion by 2027,” stated Nir Zicherman, Spotify’s VP Global Head of Audiobooks.
This most recent announcement offers 20 hours of audiobook content as part of the user’s monthly subscription and sets up a few challenges.
Most obvious is how the company will compensate writers and publishers on a per-hour basis versus the industry norm of a per-title fee.
The strategy change is a direct challenge to Audible and seeks to leverage Spotify’s dominance in its user base to drive a new wave of listeners who can get music, podcasts, and books as part of their monthly fee.