Citing what it said were years of customer requests, audio streaming platform Spotify said it is adding audiobooks to its offerings.
Beginning Tuesday (Sept. 20), Spotify listeners in the U.S. can buy and listen to more than 300,000 audiobook titles, in a new interface designed specifically for audiobooks, the company said in a news release.
“We’ve always believed that the potential for audio is limitless, and we’ve been saying for a while now that our ambition is to be the complete package for everyone’s listening needs,” said Nir Zicherman, Spotify’s Vice President and Global Head of Audiobooks and Gated Content.
“Audiobooks are next to come into the picture because we see a substantial untapped market: While audiobooks represent just a 6% to 7% share of the wider book market, the category is growing by 20% year over year.”
Zicherman said the launch is also designed to introduce audiobooks to an audience that may not have used them before.
“Adding an entirely new content format to our service is no small feat,” he said. “But we’ve done it before with podcasts, and we’re excited to now do the same with audiobooks.”
See also: Spotify Tests Direct Ticket Sales
Last month, Spotify reportedly launched a venture into live music with plans to sell concert tickets directly to fans instead of linking to third-party ticket sellers. The company stressed that the project was just a pilot, focused on pre-sales instead of primary ticketing.
“At Spotify, we routinely test new products and ideas to improve our user experience. Some of those end up paving the path for our broader user experience and others serve only as important learnings,” a spokesperson for Spotify said.
This summer also saw Spotify acquire Sonantic, which uses artificial intelligence to convincingly replicate human voices from text. The company said it bought the platform to improve its user experience through the implementation of “compelling, nuanced, and stunningly realistic voices from text.”
“We’re really excited about the potential to bring Sonantic’s AI voice technology onto the Spotify platform and create new experiences for our users,” said Ziad Sultan, Spotify’s vice president of personalization. “This integration will enable us to engage users in a new and even more personalized way.”