The Swedish audio streaming subscription service giant Spotify has completed its acquisition of digital audiobook distributor Findaway. The deal was first announced last November, but completion was delayed pending approval by regulators.
Spotify executives, both at the time of the original announcement and again in remarks at the company’s investor day on June 8, said that the purchase will accelerate the company’s push to diversify its business beyond music streaming. “We believe this presents a unique opportunity to introduce music and podcast listeners around the world to audiobooks and drastically expand that market,” Nir Zicherman, global head of audiobooks for Spotify, said at the investor day presentation.
As of March 2022, Spotify had more than 422 million monthly active users, including 182 million paying subscribers. Revenue in 2021 was €9.6 billion.
In its announcement about the completion of the Findaway purchase, Spotify said it plans to accelerate Findaway’s growth, “with the goal of scaling and expanding the audiobooks market overall." 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. With the completion of the deal, Findaway founder and CEO Mitch Kroll will continue to oversee the business from its Ohio headquarters.
In its investor day presentation, CFO Paul Vogel said that, with global economic conditions slowing, it was keeping an eye on its hiring plans. Reporting from earlier this week indicated that the company would cut back its hiring by 25% for the time being, though Spotify will likely still add to its headcount of 6,600 employees.