Spotify is testing audiobooks starting with literary classics like “Frankenstein”
Spotify has grown into a dominant force in the music and podcasting industries. Next up on the company’s list of markets to conquer is audiobooks, potentially setting up a clash with Amazon’s Audible.
Spotify on Monday (via Hollywood Reporter) introduced nine audiobooks that are part of the public domain but have been recorded exclusively for the platform. Here are the classics being added to the platform:
- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein narrated by David Dobrik
- Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave narrated by Forest Whitaker
- Kate Chopin’s The Awakening narrated by Hilary Swank
- Jane Austen’s Persuasion narrated by Cynthia Erivo
- Jean Toomer’s Cane narrated by Audra McDonald
- Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations narrated by James Langton
- Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre narrate by Sarah Coombs
- Nella Larsen’s Passing narrated by Bahni Turpin
- Stephen Crane’s Red Badge of Courage narrated by Santino Fontana
As Hollywood Reporter notes, this isn’t Spotify’s first attempt at audiobooks. The service previously introduced the first book of the Harry Potter series with chapters read by celebrities such as Daniel Radcliffe, David Beckham, and Dakota Fanning. For whatever reason, the audiobook no longer appears to be listed — at least I couldn’t find it.
Spotify hasn’t done all that much to promote its audiobook library nearly as much as it has music or podcasts, but that’s seemingly changing today. You should now see the latest audiobooks promoted in your main feed, so they’re hard to miss.
It’s unclear how serious Spotify is about getting into audiobooks and challenging established services like Audible. However, as Hollywood Reporter points out, Spotify previously posted a job opening for a head of audiobooks, so today’s release could be the beginning of a larger push into the space.