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Spotify is letting authors market like musicians

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This week, Spotify announced a new feature to let audiobook authors and publishers tease their new releases. Countdown Pages, which debuted for music artists last year and has been used by the likes of Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift, let fans pre-save an upcoming title and have it pop into their library when it’s released. The page is adorned with a large countdown clock — with a timer going down to the second — to get listeners excited. The feature’s not revolutionary, but it is in line with how Spotify differentiates itself as an audiobook provider.

Getting ahead of a new audiobook is pretty standard. On traditional platforms like Audible, you can preorder the title, and it will show up in your library on release day. But most people consuming audiobooks on Spotify are doing so through premium streaming rather than as a purchase, breaking the traditional release model. Combined with the promo page and countdown clock, the feature allows authors to engage in fandom in a way that is more typical of music than publishing. It’ll launch in mid-April.

I imagine this won’t be the last music-style feature we see added to Spotify’s audiobook vertical. After a bumpy start, the picture of what the company’s approach to audiobooks looks like is getting clearer. That doesn’t mean everything will work — I am particularly skeptical of the audiobook-only tier that costs only one dollar less than a regular premium subscription. But so far, the data does indicate that Spotify is expanding the market.



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