Cyber-wellness Means Cyber-awareRead more Addressing maternal mental healthcare in AfricaRead more Qatar v. Ecuador to kick off FIFA World Cup 2022™ on 20 NovemberRead more Webb Fontaine Announces Launch of Niger National Single Window (NNSW) to Bolster TradeRead more Ethiopia: Loan from United Nations Fund Allows Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to Scale Up Fertilizers for Farmers in TigrayRead more How Choosing the Right Printer Helps Small Businesses and Content Creators to Save Time, Maximise Productivity and Achieve GrowthRead more Eritrea: World Breastfeeding WeekRead more Eritrean community festival in Scandinavian countriesRead more IOM: Uptick in Migrants Heading Home as World Rebounds from COVID-19Read more Network International & Infobip to offer WhatsApp for Business Banking Services to Financial Institution Clients across AfricaRead more

Spotify tests audiobooks of classics including ‘Persuasion,’ ‘Frankenstein’

show caption
Spotify is launching a series of audiobooks, recordings of works of classic literature available in the public domain./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Jan 26, 2021 - 12:34 PM

NEW YORK — Streaming giant Spotify is extending its foray into audiobooks, dropping nine new public-domain classics narrated by celebrities including Hilary Swank and Forest Whitaker.

The platform known best for its music has used podcasts to drive growth since 2019, and recently began bolstering its audiobook selection.

A Spotify spokesperson told AFP the launch is part of “tests in an effort to improve our user experience.”

“Some of those tests end up paving the path for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning,” the spokesperson for the Swedish company said, without elaborating.

In May 2020 Spotify released an audio version of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the first volume in the beloved series.

Daniel Radcliffe — who played the bespectacled wizard on film — was among the celebrities who read chapters.

And in August, the group began recruiting a head of audiobooks, a sign of ambition in the market dominated by the Amazon-owned Audible.

The nine available titles include Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” — narrated by David Dobrik, the memoir “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” read by Whitaker, and Jane Austen’s “Persuasion” recorded by Cynthia Erivo. Swank read Kate Chopins “The Awakening.”

The books are broken up by chapter into episodes and are available for free globally. Because the works are in the public domain, Spotify does not need to pay to license them before recording their own versions.

The platform has also uploaded an audio analysis series entitled “Sitting with the Classics,” hosted by Harvard literature professor Glenda Carpio.

  • bio
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • latest posts

LMBCBUSINESS.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.