Spotify takes over US-based Findaway; Gears up its audiobook business

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Swedish audio streaming and media services provider, Spotify has announced its plans to acquire the US-based audiobook services and distribution company Findaway, marking its major push to have more audiobooks on the platform.

Findaway, which has partnerships with audiobook publishers such as Amazon’s Audible, Apple iBooks, Google and Storytel, offers a global audiobook catalog. It also owns Voices, which helps authors to self-publish. The proposed acquisition would make Spotify both a commercial bookseller and a publisher of audiobooks.

“This is the first big move, what we want to achieve is for Spotify consumers to be able to buy any audiobook on Spotify and listen to it,” said Mr. Gustav Soderstrpom, Chief Research & Development Officer of Spotify.

Spotify declined to share the financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory review and approval.

The audio-streaming platform 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.

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. 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,” said Mr. Soderstrom.

The global audiobooks market is expected to be worth $9.3 billion by 2026 from $4 billion in 2020, according to research firm Omdia. In the latest quarter, Spotify’s total monthly active users rose 19 percent to 381 million, with revenue of about $2.87 billion.

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