Spotify, a leading music streaming company, plans to offer a free audiobook bundle to its subscribers in the coming months, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports. The trial will allow Spotify’s paid subscribers to listen to up to 20 hours of audiobooks monthly for free. This reflects Spotify’s effort to become a leading platform for audiobooks by partnering with big U.S. publishers on a pilot program, as reported by WSJ.
The free audiobook bundle is expected to be available in English-speaking countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and Canada, thus expanding Spotify’s reach to English-speaking countries.
In 2021, Spotify acquired Findaway, a platform that allows users to create, distribute, and monetize their own audiobooks. The company paid $123 million for this purchase. Since then, Spotify has not only become a major podcast platform but also expanded on its podcasting format, turning a fixed format into a new audio experience.
Last year, Spotify added 300,000 audiobook titles from both independent authors and major publishers, expanding its repertoire. At the same time, the company announced its plan to expand its selection and access to its audiobooks to other markets.
In fact, Spotify announced its ambition to become the world’s leading audio platform back in 2019. The popular podcasting platform is reportedly on its way to compete with dominant audiobook platforms from Audible and Amazon. For this, Spotify may collaborate with several publishers in the industry and figure out different ways to compensate them.
The pilot program will offer a variety of audiobooks, but the titles are still being finalized. Spotify hasn’t revealed the exact date when the free trial will roll out. It also remains unclear if the audiobook bundle trial will be offered directly through the app or if listeners will need to subscribe on Spotify’s website.