Spotify wants its service to be your premiere destination for music, podcasts, and audiobooks. Starting today, U.S.-based Spotify users are gaining the ability to purchase and listen to more than 300,000 audiobooks. With titles coming from publishers like Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, as well as independent authors.
Unfortunately, this is not part of the Spotify subscription service. You will have to buy the audiobooks. The play button will have a lock icon, indicating that you must pay to listen to it. The purchase will be on a web page and not within the app itself.
Spotify is looking to alternative payment models, including subscriptions and ad-supported models. Spotify indicated it is getting into the audiobook space because it is growing 20% year over year. The audiobook market currently represents about 6%-7% of book sales.
After purchasing your audiobook from Spotify, you will be able to download it for offline listening, utilize automatic bookmarking to save your place, control the playback speed and rate the book. Spotify has entered a new market before with podcasts. But can the streaming giant knock Amazon from its perch? Only time will tell, but more options can only help potential audiobook consumers.