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Spotify acquires Findaway for acceleration of audiobook involvement

On the same day that Edison Research and NPR released The Spoken Word Audio Report for 2021 (RAIN coverage HERE), Spotify announced its acquisition of Findaway, the audiobook facilitator and distributor. Finances of the deal are undisclosed.

Spotify’s previous interest in audiobooks has been the audio production of public domain titles narrated by known actors. (RAIN coverage HERE.)

“Findaway works across the entire audiobook ecosystem with a platform and offerings that serve authors, publishers, and consumers of this rapidly growing industry, which is expected to grow from $3.3 billion to $15 billion by 2027,” Spotify says in its compact posted announcement.

Indeed, Findaway is active in the entire audiobook ecosystem, from creation to distribution. Its divisions and spin-off brands (like OrangeSky Audio which owns original content and Audioworks which is an audiobook production studio) put focus on specific aspects of audiobook creation and public exposure.

Findaway claims to command “the world’s largest audiobook catalog” with 325,000 books from the largest publishing houses to independent authors.

If Audible weren’t already owned by Amazon, Spotify would probably buy it. Findaway, though, arguably provides a similarly full-featured engine in the global audiobook realm. The company is hip-deep in most aspects of making and distributing podcasts. The company’s profile is similar to Spotify-owned Anchor in podcasting, and it’s easy to imagine Spotify drawing a straight line from Anchor to Findaway, and mapping out innovations and product developments that could imitate Anchor’s pivotal and evolving role in the company’s podcasting success.

If nothing else, the acquisition of Findaway emphasizes Spotify’s mission to continue evolving from a music service to an audio service.

“It’s Spotify’s ambition to be the destination for all things audio both for listeners and creators. The acquisition of Findaway will accelerate Spotify’s presence in the audiobook space and will help us more quickly meet that ambition,” said Gustav Söderström, Spotify’s Chief Research & Development Officer. “We’re excited to combine Findaway’s team, best-in-class technology platform, and robust audiobook catalog with Spotify’s expertise to revolutionize the audiobook space as we did with music and podcasts.”

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Brad Hill

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