TECH: Spotify Launches Audiobook
Popular music streaming platform, spotify launches audiobook The addition of audiobooks to Spotify’s streaming service today gives users a third option for audio material beyond music and podcasts. Users in the United States will be the first to get access to audiobooks, and they will have a choice of more than 300,000 titles that have been hand-picked by the Spotify editors. But over time, the business claims, it hopes to broaden the appeal of audiobooks, increase its inventory, and start recommending books to customers based on algorithms, much as it does with its other audio formats. The books may be bought individually and can be found in the Spotify app’s new “Audiobooks” section as well as other places including user-curated suggestions. Like other audiobook services, Spotify will include a number of typical features, such as the ability to rate titles, change the playback speed, download books for offline listening, and listen on multiple devices. However, unlike other platforms, there is no one, uniform pricing applied to all of the books in the catalog; rather, each product is separately priced. This is something that Spotify wants to be a significant differentiation and competitive edge for its service. Nir Zicherman, Spotify VP and Global Head of Audiobooks and Gated Content, stated in a briefing that “we think that a more flexible pricing mechanism will really allow for both an audience that has never consumed this format to start consuming it on Spotify.” Additionally, he continued, it may be effective for writers who haven’t previously succeeded in finding an audience. Additionally, the business stated that royalty charges will be in line with industry standards, however they differed per publisher. There was no range given. Spotify won’t be using the app stores’ own payment systems for its audiobook sales, in contrast to Audible, which offers subscriptions and “credits” to purchase audiobooks through in-app payments. Instead, it will provide free excerpts from the book’s material, but customers will be sent to Spotify’s website to finish their purchases, the business informed reporters. After that, the app will unlock the purchased audiobook and add it to the user’s library. It’s important to note that Spotify’s ability to avoid in-app purchases on iOS comes as a result of a change in Apple’s policy that was revealed back in March and targeted “reader” applications, or those created to give users access to digital content like music, books, films, or magazines. Apple stated that these apps may now make use of external connections if authorized. Spotify was Google’s first customer when it started testing third-party billing earlier this year. Although Spotify declined to comment on the protocols that allowed it to send clients to its website to make purchases, it asserts that its approach complies with app store regulations. Spotify also declined to provide specific information about its future audiobook plans, but an executive said say the firm will consider additional revenue streams, such as maybe subscriptions and advertising. In the same way that it brought interactive elements to podcasts, it also wants to investigate how to make podcasts more engaging. Additionally, it made hints that it would be able to connect audiobooks to other aspects of its business, such as by providing a Spotify playlist as supplemental content for an audiobook title.