In a bold move to diversify its offerings and challenge Audible’s dominance in the audiobook market, Spotify is set to offer a free audiobook trial to its paying subscribers. The pilot program, in collaboration with some of the largest publishers in the U.S., aims to gauge customer interest in audiobooks while providing up to 20 hours of free audiobook content per month.
Spotify’s Audiobook Ambitions
The Pilot Program
Details of the program are still under wraps, but Spotify aims to roll it out over time to English-speaking countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K. The scope of titles available through the program is expected to be broad but is still in the finalization stage.
“Audiobooks represent a way for Spotify to diversify its offerings to subscribers—and its sources of revenue,” said sources familiar with the matter.
Spotify is discussing various compensation models for publishers, including payments based on the amount of time users spend listening to books. This innovative approach could be a win-win for both Spotify and publishers, encouraging more user engagement.
The Competitive Landscape
Taking on Audible
Spotify executives are eager to challenge Audible, an Amazon-owned platform that has long held a grip on the audiobook industry. The new program aims to break this hold and offer a compelling alternative to Audible’s subscription model.
“Executives at Spotify told some publishers that their participation would help break Amazon-owned Audible’s hold on the industry,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
In July, Spotify announced a $1 increase in the price of its premium individual plans, making it $10.99 a month. The audiobook initiative could be a strategic move to offset the costs associated with the price increase, much like Amazon constantly increases the value of their Prime subscription by bundling in more features.
The Audiobook Market: A Growing Opportunity
The global audiobook market was valued at USD 2.67 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.4% from 2020 to 2027. With the increasing popularity of digital devices and the convenience of audiobooks, the market offers a lucrative opportunity for Spotify to expand its revenue streams.
“The audiobook market is driven by factors such as the increasing popularity of digital devices, the convenience and accessibility of audiobooks, and the rising demand for educational and entertainment content,” according to a report by Grand View Research.
Spotify’s foray into the audiobook market comes at a time when the company is seeking consistent profitability to appease investors. With its new pilot program, Spotify not only aims to diversify its offerings but also to make a significant impact on the burgeoning audiobook market. As the world’s largest music streaming service, Spotify’s entry into this space could be a game-changer, offering a fresh and competitive alternative to platforms like Audible.
“With 500 million monthly users, Spotify is the world’s largest music streaming service,” said the Wall Street Journal, highlighting the platform’s potential to disrupt the audiobook market.
As Spotify gears up to roll out its free audiobook trial, the industry watches closely. Will this be the move that reshapes the audiobook landscape? Only time will tell. Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.