Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Spotify adds audiobooks to US service, no word on Australia

Wish you could queue a chapter of a book alongside podcasts and music? Spotify’s approach may make that possible.

You used to hear about the term “convergence” all the time. We saw convergence as the way to bring technology together, such as having your phone do all the things that your camera, media player, and wallet could do.

These days, so much has converged into the phone that the term has largely gone out of style. But convergence is still happening, and you need only look at what is happening in the media space this week to see how convergence can be applied to online services.

Over in the US, Spotify has added to what the online music player can offer with an injection of over 300,000 audiobook titles, as Spotify joins the likes of Amazon’s Audible and Rakuten’s Kobo for with books read aloud.

It’ll likely be different than what you can find with the other varieties, which tend to connect with independent apps and gadgets.

For Rakuten, an audiobook can connect with a Kobo provided you bring a pair of Bluetooth headphones, while Amazon’s Audible uses an app on your phone to play back what would be considered books on tape back in the day.

Spotify’s approach is to blend the idea with its music service, which added podcasts some time ago (you can find both of the podcasts run by this Pickr there, as well: Your Tech Refresh and The Wrap).

Available to American subscribers first, Spotify customers there will be able to find audiobooks in search and through curated recommendations, with an ability to buy them through webpages. Once bought, the audiobook can be found in a Spotify library, listening to it whenever the listener wants, basically alongside all the other content they already listen to.

Spotify notes features already include offline listening, something the service offers for music with paid subscribers, speed control, and an automatic bookmark feature, though it hasn’t said whether chapters could be queued alongside music and podcasts just yet.

It would be really interesting whether your regular daily walk could include your daily two minute tech refresh podcast, a chapter of a book you’re listening to, and then a workout mix, or something like it. Spotify hasn’t quite said yet, and so we’re checking.

However more prudent might be release timing outside of the US, and for that, Spotify hasn’t said anything there either. We’re checking, but our guess is that given how rights are handled by different providers outside America, it could well be a case of not for a while, followed more specifically by “watch this space”.

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