Look Out, Audible, Spotify Now Has Audiobooks

Should Amazon be worried?

Spotify Audibooks Featured

As I often mention in this space, there really aren’t many new ideas in the tech world. It’s all more like warmed-up leftovers. Many tech companies just borrow ideas from the guy across the street. Spotify is doing just that, borrowing from Amazon and other sellers to start selling audiobooks. Should Amazon worry about the success of its Adible service?

From Music to Podcasts to Audiobooks

The advent of streaming content created a market for Spotify. It launched its services and quickly became a one-stop music shop for many people. Apple issued a challenge by launching Apple Music, putting a dent in Spotify’s market share.

Spotify Audiobooks Podcasts
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Spotify then paid Apple back by doubling down on its efforts with podcasts. It signed podcast hosts to exclusive contracts that didn’t allow them to broadcast anywhere else, taking a bite out of Apple’s once-solid podcast success.

The streaming service has now found another Apple toy to play with and another foe in the process. Spotify announced this week that it’s adding audiobooks to its lineup. The hammer appears to now be attempting to take down Audible as well as Apple Books.

Spotify’s Audiobook Announcement

Spotify’s announcement explained that U.S. listeners could now buy and listen to more than 300,000 audiobooks. Not surprisingly, given its history, the announcement referred to its revised platform as “a true all-in-one destination for everyone’s listening needs.”

But providing audiobooks to its existing user base is just the beginning for Spotify. They have “been working to create a seamless audiobooks experience.”

Spotify Audiobooks Paper
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Spotify’s Vice President and Global Head of Audiobooks and Gated Content, Nir Zicherman, said that “audiobooks are next to come into the picture because [sic] we see a substantial untapped market.” Audiobooks are still only six to seven percent of the overall book market, yet they are increasing their place in the market by 20 percent every year.

Audiobooks will be in your Spotify library, just like music and podcasts. You will see a lock icon on the play button, signifying that you need to purchase them before listening. Purchase audiobooks on a web page, and they’ll be saved to the library in the Spotify app.

Audiobooks can be downloaded to listen to them offline and bookmarked to save your place. Change the speed of the playback as well and share a rating when you’re done reading it.

Spotify Audiobooks Listening
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It was also mentioned that Spotify wants to work with the authors and publishers and will start adding features for them, too. The streaming service expects to “learn a lot through this launch and leverage those learnings as we enhance the experience with new features” and launch in other markets.

It’s easy to see why the audiobook market is growing in the way that it is. I stopped reading hard copy books as well. After a full day of reading, writing, and editing, it’s no longer relaxing to sit down with a good book. But I don’t want to give up reading great stories, so I listen to audiobooks.

If you haven’t been able to listen to Spotify recently, check out these solutions to your Spotify web player problems.

Image credit: Unsplash

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