Sunday, November 5, 2023

Spotify’s Audiobook Deal Is Great – And Awful!

Amazon-owned Audible is the 800-pound gorilla in the audiobook world. Downloadable audiobook titles and sales have exploded over the past 15 years. But now Spotify plans to break into audiobooks in a way that may be both great and destructive. 

On the plus side, more exposure to audiobooks for consumers, and more sale opportunities for publishers, is a big win for Spotify, known for its music and podcasts, now completes the trifecta with audiobooks. 

The deal is that Spotify plans to offer its subscribers up to 15 hours of free audiobooks each month – or roughly 30 minutes a day. If an audiobook is five hours, this comes out to three books a month. But here’s the problem. 

The subscription method gets people used to seeing books like food at a buffet table – an all-you-can-eat approach seems to dilute the brand of audiobooks. Will people, so hungry for audiobooks, then pay for other audiobooks not covered by the listening time constraints? 

The other problem is that the universe of audiobooks is much bigger than the 150,000 audio-book catalog available from Spotify. They are choosing best-sellers and popular authors, leaving indie authors and unknowns out in the dark. 

Spotify initially entered the audiobook field last year, but its offering of 300,000 titles on a pay-per-download basis did not seem to be as successful as they hoped it would be. There was also some issue of needing to go through Apple’s App Store to finalize a sale, leading to 30 % commissions to Apple. 

Spotify has 200 million subscribers around the globe, so it has lots of room to grow. Netflix, by comparison, has 239 million worldwide subscribers for its films and TV shows.  There are over 150 million Kindle Unlimited subscribers, which is the e-book version of the other two. 

In the end, Spotify, if it leads to more revenue for the book world, can be deemed a success, but in terms of looking at whether more money – and author discoverability would happen without Spotify – is an argument that could be made. 

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Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at  He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:  

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