Spotify Just Rolled Out A Huge Library Of Audiobooks

Contrary to popular belief, the idea behind Audiobooks — listening to a book instead of reading it — has been around for several decades. In fact, the origins of the first audiobooks could be traced back to the mid-1930s, when schools and libraries at the time began to toy with the idea of spoken audio as a medium of information dissemination. Interestingly, the advent of newer technologies like the Internet and the smartphone have only bolstered the Audiobook industry. These tools have made it much easier for players in the Audiobook space to target an entirely new set of consumers and tap into a hitherto inaccessible, non-existent market.

The growth potential of the Audiobooks space could be judged by the fact that the U.S. market for them has been growing at an excellent pace. Data from analytics firm IBISWorld indicate that the combined revenues from all players in the segment could hit $1.2 billion in 2022. The industry is also expected to show growth rates of over 4.1% this year. With such potential, competition in the space is expected to increase in the next few years. While services like Audible and Apple Books are known players, these incumbents are set to face stiff competition thanks to the entry of the music streaming giant Spotify.

More than 300,000 titles to choose from already

Starting September 20, 2022, Spotify users in the U.S. are able to access more than 300,000 Audiobook titles spanning several publishers and genres. In the blog post announcing the launch of its Audiobook platform, Spotify revealed its intention to make its platform a one-stop destination for everyone's listening needs. With Spotify users in the U.S. getting an entirely new library of content to sift through overnight, the company has made several changes to the app for simplified content discoverability.

Users will be able to look for Audiobooks using the search function within the app. Once users select an Audiobook of their choice, they can listen to a brief preview, following they can finalize the purchase. For the final step, users will be redirected to a separate web page outside the app. Spotify's platform gives users the ability to listen to books in both online and offline mode. The bookmarking feature allows users to continue to pick up from where they left off. Those finding the default narration too slow or fast for their liking can speed up or slow down the speed to optimal levels.

Spotify's current library of 300,000-plus titles includes works from major publications as well as individual creators (via Spotify). Interestingly, the launch of Spotify's Audiobooks platform comes just a few months after it completed the acquisition of Findaway — a platform designed for amateur audiobook creators. Spotify has hinted that its audiobooks library will see massive expansion in the days to come.