When you think of audiobooks, your first thought was probably never Spotify. But after Spotify launched audiobooks in tandem with Findaway Voices, we may see a new big competitor on the horizon.
The biggest retailer for audiobooks for years has been Audible. It barely had much competition, which meant that you usually went through Audible to find your narrator and sold your audiobook through them. For many below mid-list, this meant having a royalty split for your books. But for those who could afford it, authors were hiring the narrator outright for thousands of dollars and putting their audiobook in a multitude of locations.
Late last year, Spotify purchased Findaway Voices and then went quiet on what they planned to do with it.
For those who don’t know, Findaway Voices is one of the largest audiobook distributors for indie authors. Unlike audible, which had royalty splits and exclusive contracts within their platform, Findaway Voices allowed you to distribute your audiobook wherever you wanted after hiring your narrator.
With Spotify launching audiobooks finally, this will blow Audible’s large chunk of the market out of the water for many authors.
How Will Authors Get Paid For Their Audiobooks On Spotify?
Based on the released information provided by Spotify, Schedule C lists royalty payments for authors upward of 50% per purchase. This is huge compared to Audible’s exclusive rate of 40% or 25%, if not exclusive.
If these payments continue, we may see a lot of authors switching to working with Spotify for their audiobooks in the future.
Many authors, myself included, believed that Spotify would pay similarly to their musicians through a per streaming fund. This wouldn’t be ideal for ROI as there are far fewer people who will stream a single audiobook more than once. In comparison, someone may stream a song hundreds of times a year.
Can I Publish AI Narrated Content After Spotify Launches Audiobooks?
Currently, the majority of audiobook retailers still only accept human-narrated content. So while AI is booming with creating art and content, narration still comes out off. There’s a lack of intonation found within AI narrated work that humans can create. So while you can design AI-narrated audiobooks, it’s not likely this news will affect you in the long run.
Since Spotify is known to have dominated the playing field with music and podcasting, we will likely see a shift in how people consume and purchase their audiobooks going forward. If you’re looking to launch an audiobook soon, keep an eye out for what’s to come and perhaps look at becoming an early adopter on Spotify.
If your audiobook is one of the first books available on their platform, you’ll receive far more eyes on your work.
So, are you excited about Spotify launching audiobooks finally? Or will you stick with Audible?