Spotify says 25% of US, UK, Australia subscribers try audiobooks


As reported by Spotify Technology SA, 25% of paid users in the US, UK, and Australia started listening to audiobooks as a part of their subscriptions. — Reuters

Spotify Technology SA said one-quarter of paid users in the US, UK and Australia have started an audiobook as part of their subscriptions, a sign the Swedish audio streaming company is making headway in a growing market.

Of those users, 57% are 18 to 34, suggesting the format is especially appealing to younger generations of listeners.

Spotify began offering paying subscribers 15 hours of audiobook listening a month last October as part of an effort to attract new subscribers and keep existing customers on the platform longer. The feature is now available in six markets, including, most recently, Canada and Ireland.

Listeners can buy more hours if they reach their monthly limit, and the company said Tuesday those purchases have “more than doubled” from the first quarter of this year compared with the fourth quarter of 2023.

“We’re really happy with the progress,” said David Kaefer, head of Spotify’s audiobooks business, in an interview. The company has seen listeners adopt the format more quickly than when it launched podcasts, he said. Those younger readers are also pushing certain genres, like “romantasy”, to be among the most popular on the service.

Though Spotify can’t entirely know how many of its users are new to audiobooks – a statistic the publishing industry is keen to monitor – the company surveyed some eligible subscribers that both do and don’t actively consume audiobooks in the US, UK and Australia, and found that one-third only started listening to the format over the past six months, on any platform. Spotify suggests this means it’s bringing new readers into the medium.

Audiobook listeners spend around 2 1/2 additional hours in the app within 14 days of starting a book, the company said, a metric it tracks in an effort to increase time spent using its programme.

To increase the number of people listening to books, Spotify will roll out more tools and an author-oriented dashboard in addition to its existing promotional tabs and recommendations.

It has also encouraged book publishing partners to share when their authors appear on podcasts, which allows Spotify to promote them on podcast pages. The company said consumption of RuPaul’s The House Of Hidden Meaning increased by 34% a week after he appeared on Alex Cooper’s Call Her Daddy, a show distributed by Spotify. – Bloomberg

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