Spotify has begun testing an audiobook offering and has released a limited collection of narrative recordings on its streaming platform.
The online music platform Spotify has launched several audiobooks in its colors, classic works that have fallen into the public domain and narrated by big names in the show, such as actress Hilary Swank or comedian Forest Whitaker.
'Some of those tests end up paving the path for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning, ' the spokesperson for the Swedish company said.
Audiobooks have been around for a long time on the platform, but this is the first time Spotify has placed copies in its colors and produced by the group itself, after the Harry Potter trial run last spring. David Dobrik narrates Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; Forest Whitaker reads Frederick Douglass memoir Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave; Hilary Swank narrates The Awakening by Kate Chopin; and Cynthia Erivo reads Jane Austen's Persuasion. The company has experimented with audiobooks before, bringing the first book in the Harry Potter series to the platform a year ago with narration by celebrities like Daniel Radcliffe, David Beckham, and Dakota Fanning, but we hadn't heard anything since then. Next up on the company's list of markets to conquer is audiobooks, potentially setting up a clash with Amazon's Audible.
The platform has also uploaded an audio analysis series entitled 'Sitting with the Classics, ' hosted by Harvard literature professor Glenda Carpio.
As Hollywood Reporter notes, this isn't Spotify's first attempt at audiobooks. Audible, which calls itself the largest producer of audiobooks in the world, has faced relatively little competition in the US and, in recent years, has begun to invest heavily into original programming and podcast content as well.
Spotify has a massive library of music and an online culture magazine, called 'The Pudding, ' designed an AI that tells you if your taste in music is good or if it is just plain very bad.