Spotify Paying Audiobook Publishers ‘Tens of Millions’ of Dollars — With Britney Spears’ Memoir Topping the List

Spotify audiobook publishers
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Photo Credit: Joyce Busola

Since launching audiobooks in Spotify Premium last year, the company has paid audiobook publishers ‘tens of millions’ of dollars — with Britney Spears’ memoir topping the list of most listened books.

Spotify has paid audiobook publishers “tens of million” since the launch of audiobooks on the platform’s premium subscription last year in the US, UK, and Australia. And at the top of that list sits Britney Spears’ memoir, “The Woman in Me,” the most listened to book on the service.

The Stockholm-headquartered audio streaming giant says users have listened to over 90,000 unique titles from the platform’s catalog, which currently boasts 200,000 titles and continues to grow each month. A Spotify spokesperson stressed that the data shared by the company “underscores our commitment to incrementally growing the pie for authors and the publishing industry.”

“It’s early days, but we’re incredibly excited about what we’re seeing since launching Audiobooks in Premium in the UK, Australia, and the US three months ago,” says Spotify. “The results show that the introduction of audiobooks is driving a meaningful incremental revenue stream for the publishing community. We feel good about future growth and will keep working closely with authors, agents, and publishers to share learnings as we get further along in this journey together.”

Last October, all major audiobook publishers entered into limited streaming deals with Spotify — including Penguin Random House, which had notoriously been the biggest and most outspoken entity against a subscription deal. But a significant amount of authors and agents also expressed concern over the lack of details surrounding how these deals may affect author income.

The boon in audiobook revenue for Spotify is in line with the currently robust audiobook market, which still showed a 6% increase in volume and 12% in value in the first seven months of 2023, according to Nielsen BookData. That’s despite many naysayers who feared the market was plateauing following years of significant growth.

Spotify’s move into audiobooks comes during a time of uncertainty for the tech giant, which cut 17% of its global workforce in December to reduce costs.