The Swedish audio streaming subscription service giant Spotify has made its long-awaited move into the American audiobook market with an agreement to acquire Ohio-based digital audiobook distributor Findaway for an undisclosed price. The acquisition is expected to close before the end of the year.
Best known for its music service, Spotify has been looking to diversify its business, and began with an expansion into podcasting. The company says it has a total 381 million monthly active users and 172 million premium subscribers. Revenue in 2020 was close to $9 billion.
Findaway, founded in 2005, distributes to most major audiobook retailers and has a catalog of 325,000 titles ranging from major publishers to self-published authors. It also operates its own self-publishing business, FindawayVoices, and has an audiobook publishing unit, OrangeSky Audio. Spotify sees the acquisition as accelerating its entry into the audiobooks industry by using Findaway’s technology to scale its audiobook catalog.
“It is Spotify’s ambition to be the destination for all things audio both for listeners and creators. The acquisition of Findaway will accelerate Spotify’s presence in the audiobook space and will help us more quickly meet that ambition,” said Gustav Söderström, Spotify’s chief research and development officer, in a statement. “We’re excited to combine Findaway’s team, best in class technology platform, and robust audiobook catalog, with Spotify’s expertise to revolutionize the audiobook space as we did with music and podcasts.”
Findaway founder and CEO Mitch Kroll will continue to oversee the business from its Ohio headquarters. “We founded Findaway with the recognition of the power of the spoken word through audiobooks and the unique opportunity to empower storytellers and connect them with listeners,” he said in a statement. “We look forward to combining our leading technology tools and world-class team with the reach of Spotify’s platform to provide an enhanced audio experience for creators, publishers and listeners around the world.”