Spotify is diving into the competitive audiobook market.
On Tuesday, the company announced it would have a new hub on its platform housing over 300,000 titles, featuring best-selling authors such as Steven King.
Spotify disrupted the music industry when it rolled out an app that gave listeners access to an infinite library of content. Now the company looks to upend the publishing industry in the same way.
Digital audio has grown by leaps and bounds, registering double-digit year-over-year growth for over a decade. Audiobooks were a $1.67 billion market last year, representing a 25% increase from just two years earlier. In 2011, 7200 audiobooks were published. By 2021 that number had skyrocketed to 74,000.
Unlike music, where listeners pay a flat fee for access to all available music, the audiobook hub will be ala carte, with prices in line with other retail outlets.
Spotify is taking a higher level view, looking to take on an even wider share of the industry.
"We believe we have the potential to massively expand the audience for audiobooks," Nir Zicherman, the head of audiobooks at Spotify, said during a news conference on Monday. "Just as Spotify has changed the way that people create and listen to music and podcasts, we believe we can do the same thing over time with audiobooks by offering new formats, new ways to interact with content, and new ways to discover."
As with music, Spotify plans to improve curation using algorithmic recommendations based on readers' tastes & previous selections.
The platform declined to disclose what revenue-sharing model they plan to use with publishers. The company recently revamped how it pays musicians after artists and fans alike called for changes.
The audiobook hub will initially only be available to U.S.-based users.