Spotify Buys Audio Tech Firm Findaway to Bolster Audiobooks Business

Spotify on Thursday made a big push to have more audiobooks on its platform by buying US-based audio tech company Findway as it tries to recreate its success with podcasts.

Findaway, which has partnerships with audiobook publishers like Amazon’s audible, Apple iBooks, Google, And Story, provides a global audio book catalogue. It also has Voices, which helps authors self-publish.

“This is the first big step… what we want to achieve is for Spotify consumers to be able to buy any audio book Spotify And listen to it,” Chief R&D Officer Gustav Soderstrom said in an interview.

Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, were not disclosed.

Spotify is following a playbook similar to its podcast business. It took to podcasts in 2018, augmenting it with a string of acquisitions and is expected to be overtaken by analysts Apple As the largest podcast provider with over 3 million titles by the end of the year.

The company, which already has a tie-up with Swedish audiobook streaming group Storytel, to allow its customers to listen to audiobooks, also launched an 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 purchase audiobooks about true crime,” Soderstrom said. “It’s a huge potential for publishers, because we think we have a user base that’s a really good target for audiobooks as well.”

Spotify’s total monthly active users grew 19 percent to 381 million in the latest quarter with revenues of around 2.5 billion euros (about Rs 21,278 crore).

According to research firm Omdia, the global audiobook market is expected to grow from $4 billion (approximately Rs 29,776 crore) in 2020 to $9.3 billion (approximately Rs 69,231 crore) by 2026.

© Thomson Reuters 2021