Spotify hosted an event in its New York office on Tuesday where it announced it will be adding to the audiobook side of its product.
Spotify has announced it's expanding the audiobook side of its service with 150,000 additional titles for its Premium subscribers. The music-streaming platform launched its audiobook side with 300,000 titles in September 2022, and the platform said it will continue pushing into the market as its been going 20% year-over-year, with audiobooks only taking 6% to 7% of the wider book market.
The music-streaming platform has said that audiobooks are currently suffering from a distribution and discovery problem, which it believes it will be able to solve as it's done with music and podcasts. Notably, Spotify co-president and chief business officer Alex NorstrÜm said about 2 billion people will read a book throughout 2023, but the percentage of those people listening to an audiobook is still very small.
"Audiobooks today have one big dominating player. And just like in music and podcasting, we believe that many more consumers want to consume audiobooks and want to listen to audiobooks," said Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek, speaking at the event. "And just like in music and podcasting, we're really excited to be able to bring all the amazing tools that we built for creators and consumers alike to enable more discovery of these amazing audiobooks to the entire world," he added.
"Tens of millions of Premium subscribers are already interested in listening to audiobooks," said Spotify co-president and chief business officer Alex NorstrÜm. "They just need the opportunity."
"We're going to feature editorial recommendations, curated by a diverse team of experts. And these will appear in the audiobooks hub," explained Spotify VP, Head of Audiobooks Business, David Kaefer. This hub will include feature shelves that highlight popular genres as well.
"We're also going to make recommendations guided by a streamlined taste onboarding," he continued. "This is something that every listener is going to get as soon as they access their application. And it's going to prompt users to choose some of their favorite titles and some of their favorite genres. That's how we're going to begin to learn how we're going to begin to suggest the right titles to each listener," Kaefer added.
"We've got instant access. We've got discovery. We've got front-and-center placement, easy social amplification, and dedicated tools," Kaefer concluded. "And all of these things are going to help increase the number of people listening to audiobooks and help listeners engage with the format with less friction," he said.