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Spotify users can now buy audiobooks in the US app

Spotify Technology SA has started selling audiobooks through its US app, helping the music streaming giant attract new customers and keep existing customers closer.

The Swedish company will begin offering more than 300,000 titles, including those from the five largest publishers, and customers will be able to listen to them without ads. None of the books are Spotify exclusive, and existing app subscribers won’t get any discounts or additional benefits, though the company said it plans to experiment with different business models.

Audiobooks represent a “substantially untapped” market, Nir Zicherman, global head of audiobooks and gated content at Spotify, said in a press briefing Monday. They account for 6% to 7% of the $140 billion book industry and the category is growing at about 20% per year, he said earlier this year.

In June, Spotify completed a €117 million ($117 million) purchase of Audiobooks distributor Findaway, which will be carried on the new storefront. Authors who publish through the platform can submit their books to Spotify. Zicherman also said the company is trying to use algorithms to better connect customers with literary content, though it’s using human curation efforts for now.

Zicherman stressed that the current version of the audiobook purchasing platform is just a first attempt. All prices are set by Spotify and individually determined by title, as is any royalty payment agreement with publishers. Users can adjust the playback speed of a book, download content for offline listening, and rate their books.

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