Spotify bolsters audiobooks business with Findaway buy

Findaway, which has partnerships with audiobook publishers such as Amazon’s Audible, Apple iBooks, Google and Storytel, offers a global audio book catalog.

November 12, 2021 10:13 am | Updated 10:14 am IST

Spotify logo.

Spotify logo.

Spotify on Thursday made a major push to have more audiobooks on its platform by buying U.S.-based audio tech company Findaway as it tries to recreate its success with podcasts.

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Findaway, which has partnerships with audiobook publishers such as Amazon's Audible, Apple iBooks, Google and Storytel, offers a global audio book catalog. It also owns Voices, which helps authors to self publish.

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"This is the first big move...what we want to achieve is for Spotify consumers to be able to buy any audio book on Spotify and listen to it," Chief Research & Development Officer Gustav Söderström said in an interview.

Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, were not disclosed.

Spotify is following a playbook similar to that of its podcast business. It ventured into podcasts in 2018, bulked it up with a string of acquisitions and is expected by analysts to overtake Apple as the largest podcast provider by the end of the year with more than 3 million titles.

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The company, which already has a tie-up with Swedish audiobook streaming group Storytel to allow its subscribers to listen to audiobooks, had also launched Open Access Platform for publishers to stream their content.

"We know from a survey that many of our users who listened to true crime podcasts also went on to buy audiobooks about true crime," said Söderström. "That's a big potential for publishers, because we think we have a user base that is a really good target for audiobooks as well."

Spotify's total monthly active users rose 19% to 381 million in the latest quarter with revenue of about 2.5 billion euros ($2.87 billion).

The global audiobooks market is expected to be worth $9.3 billion by 2026 from $4 billion in 2020, according to research firm Omdia.

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