Spotify releases nine classic audiobooks, hinting at future expansion

Brittany A. Roston - Jan 25, 2021, 6:09pm CST
Spotify releases nine classic audiobooks, hinting at future expansion

Spotify has released nine public domain audiobooks, the recordings of which are exclusive to its platform. The addition caught users by surprise, teasing them with the future prospects of being able to stream audiobooks directly through the platform. The move comes only a few months after Amazon added podcasts to its Audible audiobook platform.

READ: Audible takes on Spotify by adding thousands of free podcasts

The new audiobooks were released on Monday, with Spotify tapping multiple voice actors to narrate the books. All nine titles are classics in the public domain, though the audio recordings belong to Spotify and can only be streamed through its platform.

The titles are:

– Frankenstein
– Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave
– The Awakening
– Persuasion
– Cane
– Great Expectations
– Jane Eyre
– Passing
– Red Badge of Courage

Though Spotify has dabbled with audiobooks in the past, most notably the first Harry Potter book read chapter-by-chapter by celebrities, it has never presented this medium in any significant way. This time around, the company has tapped narrators like Sarah Coombs, Santino Fontana, Hilary Swank, and Forest Whitaker.

In addition to these audiobooks, Spotify users also get access to ‘Sitting with the Classics on Spotify’ featuring Glenda Carpio, a Harvard professor who gives listeners an in-depth introduction to the classics, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The company has already embraced non-audio content with its podcast additions, the effort of which has seen the acquisition of Anchor and Gimlet Media. The company is now home to many exclusive podcasts in addition to audio shows distributed through a variety of destinations. Whether we’ll see a major push into the audiobook market remains to be seen.


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