Spotify Expands in Audiobooks With the Purchase of Findaway
(Bloomberg) -- Spotify Technology SA agreed to acquire Findaway, an audiobook company that gives the Swedish streaming giant additional products to market alongside music and podcasts.
Findaway is a distributor for many audiobook services, publishers and authors, and will continue to serve them after the deal closes, the companies said Thursday. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
The purchase marks Spotify’s most significant investment in audiobooks, and is the latest sign of its ambition to grow beyond a music app to become the default service for audio of all kinds.
“The goal is for Spotify listeners to be able to buy any audiobook in the world,” said Gustav Soderstrom, the company’s chief research and development officer. “If you are a true crime podcast junkie, you are buying true crime audiobooks as well.”
Spotify has experimented with audiobooks for a couple of years, offering some titles in the public domain, like “Jane Eyre,” for free. The company also sold an audiobook from journalist Malcolm Gladwell. It has spent billions of dollars buying podcast studios and technology.
The company expects the purchase to close this year, at which point it will begin adding more audiobooks to its service. Publishers and authors working with Findaway must agree to distribute on Spotify.
Spotify will sell individual audiobooks to all of its users. Authors and publishers who use their own payment processing technology will be able to keep all of the sales, while those who use Spotify’s technology will share the revenue. Individual authors will be able to self-distribute books.
Findaway will maintain its headquarters in Solon, Ohio, and will continue to be led by founder and Chief Executive Officer Mitch Kroll.
Amazon.com Inc.’s Audible is the dominant player in audiobooks. Spotify hopes to compete by putting books in front of its nearly 400 million listeners.
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