Spotify launches audiobook store with some 300,000 titles

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. audiobook / ˈɔ diˌoʊ bʊk / (n.) – a recording of a book being read aloud

    My favorite author released an audiobook version of his new book.

  2. public domain / ˈpʌb lɪk doʊˈmeɪn / (adj.) – not owned by a certain person or company and is free or available for everyone

    I read public domain researches to write my paper.

  3. substantial / səbˈstæn ʃəl / (adj.) – having great value or importance

    The company earned a substantial amount from its new product.

  4. untapped / ʌnˈtæpt / (adj.) – not yet used

    Some countries’ labor force has untapped potential.

  5. subscription / səbˈskrɪp ʃən / (n.) – an agreement to pay a company to get a publication or service regularly

    My dad has a monthly subscription to business magazines.


Read the text below.

The expanding audiobooks market has a major new retailer: Spotify.

The music streaming service announced its long-rumored audiobook initiative, launching a store that includes more than 300,000 titles, including such popular works as Delia Owens’ “Where the Crawdads Sing,” Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” and Colleen Hoover’s “It Ends With Us.” Spotify has previously offered audiobooks on a limited basis, including J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and such public domain novels as Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and Jane Austen’s “Persuasion.”

“We’ve always believed that the potential for audio is limitless, and have been saying for a while now that our ambition is to be the complete package for everyone’s listening needs,” Nir Zicherman, Spotify’s vice president and global head of audiobooks and Gated Content.

“Audiobooks are next to come into the picture because we see a substantial untapped market: while audiobooks represent just a 6-7% share of the wider book market, the category is growing by 20% year over year.”

Other available works include Dave Grohl’s “The Storyteller,” James McBride’s “Deacon King Kong” and Emily Henry’s “People We Meet On Vacation.”

At least initially, Spotify will sell audiobooks individually, not on a subscription basis, at prices that are “competitive” with other sellers. According to a Spotify spokesperson, “After assessing testing and user research, we found that the best initial offering would allow users to purchase books individually,” a policy which “allows for pricing flexibility and for more casual listeners to access audiobooks easily.”

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • How do you think the expansion of the audiobook market will affect the market of other book formats (ex. printed books, digital books)? Discuss.
  • Do you use audio streaming services like Spotify? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • What do you think are the pros and cons of audiobooks (ex. pro: more accessible for all readers, con: requires a device)? Discuss.
  • Who do you think will greatly benefit from audiobooks (ex. people who are busy, people who have poor eyesight)? Why? Discuss.