Spotify is expanding its newly launched audiobooks service outside the U.S., the company announced today. The service will now become available in other English-speaking markets, including the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, allowing users to access Spotify’s catalog of audiobook titles from the streaming app.
The company confirmed to TechCrunch that consumers in the newly added markets will also have access to the same number of titles as those in the U.S. do (300K+), but declined to share any metrics related to how many Spotify users have taken advantage of the option to buy audiobooks following the service’s launch.
Similar to other audiobook apps, Spotify offers a standard set of features, including the ability to download titles for offline listening, rate titles, adjust the playback speed, and listen across devices.
However, the implementation of audiobooks in the Spotify app leaves much to be desired from the consumer’s perspective. The company doesn’t want to make the titles available through in-app purchases, where it would have to pay Apple or Google a commission on its sales. That means users have to first visit Spotify’s website to purchase the book, pay Spotify directly, then return to the app to actually access the title. What’s more, Spotify isn’t linking to its website from its mobile app. Instead, when a user taps “play” on the audiobook they’re interested in, a message appears that explains: “You can’t buy audiobooks in the app. We know, it’s not ideal.”
Other services have worked around Apple’s rules in different ways. For example, Amazon-owned Audible sells subscriptions and “credits” to buy audiobooks via in-app purchases.
Spotify launches audiobooks to more English-speaking markets outside the U.S. by Sarah Perez originally published on TechCrunch