This is a story that’s been brewing for a long time now, and ALLi has been keeping our eye on it. But the latest chapter with Spotify Premium will surprise no one. Still, now it’s actually here, it is most definitely news.
So, as of November 8th, Spotify Premium subscribers in the US will be able to access the platform’s 200,000 strong audiobook catalogue. This brings the giant market in line with the UK and Australia. Premium subscribers will have 15 hours of audiobook content a month included with their subscription. And Spotify’s in-house survey suggests subscribers are likely to take advantage, with 72% of Gen Z (18-34 year olds) listening to audiobooks.
You will recall that this massive play has already attracted concern from authors. The subject of that concern relates to the terms Spotify offered the big publishing houses for access to the audiobook titles it’s now pushing out to vast marketplaces of its customers. It was clear, when publishers announced that a deal had been reached, that the details of that deal had not filtered through to authors and their agents – and they certainly hadn’t been part of the negotiations.
How can indies distribute via Spotify Premium?
Of course, as indies we don’t have to rely on publishers telling us what deals they are slicing up over rights that we weren’t 100% sure we had granted in the first place. Indie authors can distribute to Spotify via Findaway Voices, for example. The site has a very interesting blog explaining the way that payment works – both for audiobooks streamed as part of the 15 hours included in Spotify Premium and titles purchased a la carte. The long and short is that Findaway Voices don’t take a cut of your royalties. On the other hand, streaming royalties remain at the mercy of Spotify’s algorithms.
Findaway Voices also published a very helpful how-to on the same day Spotify made its US announcement.
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