Spotify continue experimenting with audiobooks, adding nine classic novels available for free
Image Credit: Spotify
Take a dive into audiobooks such as Frankenstein, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, The Awakening, Cane, Persuasion and more, read by familiar voices on Spotify.
Spotify’s audiobook pilot sees the music streaming and podcast platform release nine public-domain books read by well-known actors and personalities available now for free to all Spotify Free and Premium users.
This isn’t Spotify first dabble with audiobooks. After the huge success the company has seen with podcasts over the last few years, Spotify exclusively released Harry Potter at Home earlier this year, which saw stars read the first Potter book one chapter at a time. After the success of here, Spotify hired a ‘Head of Audio Books’ in August last year.
Alongwith the literary classics, Spotify include a complimentary deep dive from Harvard professor Glenda Carpio with Sitting With The Classics, which involves a ten minute critical analysis of each book.
The new readings and deep dives are available exclusively on Spotify. You’ll find them in the podcast section of the app under Stories. Each chapter is separated into its own episode, so you can easily download and listen, with Spotify remembering your progress. The nine titles available now are:
- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – read by David Dobrik
- Fredrick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave – read by Forest Whitaker
- Kate Chopin’s The Awakening – read by Hilary Swank
- Jean Toomer’s Cane – read by Audra McDonald
- Jane Austen’s Persuasion – read by Cynthia Erivo
- Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations – read by James Langton
- Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre – read by Sarah Coombs
- Nella Larsen’s Passing – read by Bahni Turpin
- Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage – read by Santino Fontana
The success of these audiobooks will likely determine whether Spotify attempts to compete with the like of Audible in the same way they did with the rest of the podcast industry a few years ago and invest a similarly huge amount of money into exclusive modern and classic titles, as well as audiobook networks. These could be monetized by Spotify if they implemented audiobooks into a potential premium podcast plan, making such a tier more appealing to subscribers.
Apple are also reportedly looking at competing with the likes of Spotify, Amazon, SiriusXM and Audible with a premium podcast subscription of their own.
In August last year, Audible launched a new Plus plan for unlimited listening to a smaller selection of books.