Streaming giant Spotify is buying audiobook distributor Findaway in a bid to speed up Spotify’s entry into the booming audiobook sector.
Spotify believes the deal will help to bring audiobooks to its hundreds of
millions of listeners. Findaway’s technology infrastructure will enable Spotify to scale its audiobook catalog and offer new avenues for publishers, authors and independent creators to reach new global audiences.
The company believes the acquisition gives Spotify the opportunity to develop audiobook content in the same way as music and podcasts to reach a wide audience on its global platform.
Spotify Chief Research & Development Officer Gustav Soderstrom says, ‘It is Spotify’s ambition to be the destination for all things audio for listeners and creators.
‘The acquisition of Findaway will accelerate Spotify’s presence in the audiobook space. We’re excited to combine Findaway’s team, technology platform, and audiobook catalog with Spotify’s expertise to revolutionize the audiobook space as we did with music and podcasts.’
Findaway Founder & CEO Mitch Kroll says,’Together with Spotify, we have the opportunity to innovate and democratize the audiobook ecosystem.
‘We founded Findaway with the recognition of the power of the spoken word through audiobooks and the unique opportunity to empower storytellers and connect them with listeners. We look forward to combining our technology tools and team with the reach of Spotify’s platform to provide an enhanced audio experience for creators, publishers and listeners around the world.’
Findaway will keep its headquarters in Solon, Ohio and will continue to be led by CEO Mitch Kroll, who will report to Nir Zicherman, Head of Audiobooks at Spotify.
Spotify, which is based in Sweden, claims to be the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service with more than 381 million monthly active users and 172 million premium subscribers. It says it has has a presence in 178 markets and a library of more than 70 million tracks, including 3.2 million podcast titles.
The huge scale of the company’s customer base could pose a threat to the established dominance of Amazon’s Audible in the audiobook sector but the fact remains that most traditional publishers are reluctant to offer their titles on unlimited subscription services.
Spotify has also faced considerable criticism from creators who say they don’t receive adequate payment for their music and that the payment system is not transparent.
Findaway was set up in 2005 and has become a leading player in digital audiobook distribution and is a self-publishing platform for independent authors with Findaway Voices.