Spotify has begun testing an audiobook offering and has released a limited collection of narrative recordings on its streaming platform.
This initial selection of audiobooks comprises nine novels which are in the public domain, as well as a series named Sitting with the Classics on Spotify.
This series features lectures on each book by Harvard professor Glenda Carpio that focus on the history and themes of each novel.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Spotify’s new lineup of audiobooks will be available for free around the world, but will be promoted to English-speaking markets such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Germany.
Spotify’s lineup of audiobook versions of classic novels available in South Africa now includes the following titles:
- Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
- Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
- Cane – Jean Toomer
- Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
- Passing – Nella Larsen
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave – Frederick Douglass
- The Awakening – Kate Chopin
- Persuasion – Jane Austen
- Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane
This is not the first time Spotify has commissioned and officially launched audiobooks on its platform.
Last year, the company launched a version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone which was read by a star-studded cast of narrators, including Harry Potter film star Daniel Radcliffe.
This is, however, the first time it has launched a wider selection of novels, indicating that it aims to offer additional content of this variety going forward.
Push into audio content
The launch of classic audiobooks on Spotify is part of the company’s move into other types of audio products aside from music streaming.
The audio streaming platform has signed a number of prominent figures for exclusive podcast deals in recent years.
These include agreements with Michelle Obama, Kim Kardashian-West, and Joe Rogan, which are designed to attract more users to the platform.
Spotify is also reportedly considering a separate premium podcast subscription, which would include exclusive extra content and remove advertisements entirely from podcasts.
The company has polled users regarding the idea, asking them how much they would be willing to pay for this type of service.
Spotify has not announced any concrete plans regarding the launch of other types of subscription plans, however, and it has not yet elaborated on whether it will expand its audiobook lineup with more novels that are not in the public domain.