Spotify on Thursday made a big to have more audiobooks on its platform with the acquisition of U.S. audio technology company Findaway, as it tries to recreate its success with podcasts.

Findaway has partnered with audiobook publishers such as Amazon’s Audible, Apple iBooks, Google and Storytel to provide a audiobook catalog. It also has to help authors self-publish.

“This is the first big move… What we want to achieve is to enable Spotify consumers to buy any audiobook on Spotify and listen to it,” Chief R&D Officer Gustav Söderström said in an interview.

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, were not disclosed.

Spotify is following a similar playbook to its podcast business. It dabbled in podcasting in 2018 and has expanded through a series of acquisitions that analysts expect to overtake Apple as the largest podcast provider with more than 3 million titles by the end of the year.

The company has partnered with Swedish audiobook logistics media group Storytel to allow its subscribers to listen to audiobooks, and has launched an open-access platform for publishers to their content.

“We know from a survey that many of our users who listen to true crime podcasts also continue to buy audiobooks about true crime,” Söderström said. “This is a huge potential for publishers because we think our user base is also a very good target for audiobooks.”

Spotify’s total monthly active users rose 19% in the most recent quarter to 381 million on revenue of about 2.5 billion euros (approximately Rs 21,278 crore).

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According to research firm Omdia, the audiobook market is expected to be worth $9.3 billion (Rs 69,231 crore) by 2026, up from $4 billion (Rs 29,776 crore) in 2020.

© Thomson Reuters 2021