Spotify now sells audiobooks – The Verge

A lot happened today, so I’m not going to hang out. Spotify finally launches audiobook feature, Adnan Syed serial is free and we are opening Hot Pod Summit Lottery.

Spotify launches audiobooks in the US

Spotify is bringing audiobooks to its app today. At launch, the feature functions much like a traditional audiobook service, requiring users to buy every book they want to listen to. But the company has teased more unique business models that could emerge in the future that look more like the freemium approach to music and podcasts that listeners are already used to.

US users can purchase individual audiobooks from a library of 300,000 titles at a price set by the publisher, similar to Apple Books. Listeners can browse and sample audiobooks within the app, and once they’ve selected a title they’d like to buy, they’ll be directed to make the purchase outside the app. This differs from the credit system used by Audible and, where subscribers pay a flat fee of $14.95 per month for credit that can be applied to any audiobook in their library, regardless of retail price. However, Nir Zicherman, head of audiobooks at Spotify, said the current model is just a starting point.

“We want to be the company that brings audiobooks into the future.”

“While we have ambitions to introduce new audiobook business models in the future, in speaking with partners across the industry, we believe a la carte is the best way to start activating audiobooks and learning from how people interact with individual books, ” Zicherman said. “We want to be the company that brings audiobooks into the future.”

The library includes titles from major publishers as well as independent and creator-produced content. Earlier this year, Spotify acquired Findaway, an audiobook company that allows amateur audiobook authors to create, distribute and monetize their work. Currently, Findaway users can upload their creations to Spotify like any other audiobook platform, but the app could be the key to those new business models Zicherman talks about.

At Spotify’s investor day in June, the company’s head of content and advertising, Dawn Ostroff, mentioned a possible opportunity to advertise in audiobooks. It won’t be part of today’s launch, but it’s the future the company is looking at, Zicherman said. Self-published audiobook authors are more likely to receive ad revenue than outright purchases (at least initially) than major publishers.

If the idea of ​​free, ad-supported audiobook listening could destabilize the industry, Spotify’s embrace of the medium has a lot to offer. While users typically have to download a separate app to access audiobooks, placing an audiobook vertically in Spotify’s main app could expose many listeners to media that might not be looking for it.

“About half of the U.S. population has never heard an audiobook. Anything that puts a concept in front of them and wants them to try one — because if you can get someone to try one, they usually come back — I think It’s a net positive for everyone,” said Michele Cobb, executive director of the Audio Publishers Association (APA).

For Spotify, the move into audiobooks is part of an attempt to reduce its reliance on music. Music is expensive to operate, with mechanical and publishing royalties accounting for a large portion of its revenue. That’s why the company spends more than $1 billion on podcasting technology and content, even if podcasting isn’t yet profitable. The goal is to have a more diversified business, keep users in the app, and generate profits that keep investors happy.

Adnan Said from serial Released after 23 years in prison

Adnan Said, Subject serialThe first season of , has already been released.8 years after he was sentenced to 23 years in prison for murdering ex-girlfriend Lee Hae-min serial His case has drawn national attention, Baltimore judge drops his case At the request of state prosecutors, they said last week that the state “no longer has confidence in the integrity of convictions.”shocking event happened serialand its complex legacy is back in the spotlight.

serial, which explores the shaky foundations of Syed’s beliefs, was arguably the first podcast to hit. It became a national phenomenon, spawned a slew of true crime imitators, and helped shape the medium as we know it today. But it is not without its critics. Syed’s lawyer and childhood friend Rabia Chaudry serial Producer and host Sarah Koenig, criticized The show chose to leave the content of the story.although serial After the season ended, Chaudry basically moved on, telling her own version of events with a book, HBO documentary, and podcast.

Events of the past week have sparked online concerns about serialThe handling of Syed’s story and whether the recent results are to be commended.Many argue that if not for serialwhile others say its reporting is flawed, and the credit really goes to Chaudrey.

serial posted an update In Syed’s case, this is the first episode since March. It’s currently the top show on Apple Podcasts and ranks 26th on Spotify. unpublishedChaudry’s podcast, also got a boost, ranking 24th at Apple.

As part of the On Air LA Annex, the Hot Pod Summit will be held in Los Angeles on November 3rd. While the event is by invitation only, we are running a raffle to expand the number of attendees.If you are interested in applying, please let us know by filling in Lottery form is here. Sweepstakes will close on October 4th and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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