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Spotify rounds out product trinity with audiobooks; ‘ubiquity strategy’ to stay in 2023

Spotify unveiled its most-anticipated, yet much-gatekept (by Apple) feature of audiobooks to Australian users yesterday, adding a third vertical alongside the company’s music and podcast offerings.

Alongside other markets including the UK, Ireland, and New Zealand, Australian users can now access a catalogue of more than 300,000 audiobook titles.

The local launch came amid the company’s global battle with Apple, who insisted Spotify cannot sell titles via the iOS app without paying it a 30% in-app sales cut.

But on the ad revenue front, as tech companies experience the often quoted “challenging macro-environment”, Spotify is doing relatively well as it reported a 19% increase in ad-supported income in Q3.

Turbulence at Twitter has seen an exodus of advertisers. Adrian Bingham, Spotify’s AUNZ head of sales, told Mumbrella that while the streaming platform has seen an uplift in “shortness of the market”, it couldn’t be determined whether that’s correlated to movements in other platforms or broader market conditions.

Although the company cannot yet comment on audiobook-related advertising opportunities, Bingham said it will stick to the omnipresent strategy and strengthen the adtech foundation in 2023.

Adrian Bingham

“We’ve done a lot of hard work over the past couple of years to really prove the effectiveness of Spotify, the return on investment, and also digital audio’s role within the broader media mix as well,” he said.

“There’s an opportunity where we have audiences that are not engaged with a screen. We call this a screenless moment, the audience is focused on different activities, and digital audio is a utility that can engage them throughout their day.

“Our ubiquity strategy will continue to come through in 2023, where we want to be seamlessly connected, whatever device the user wants to listen and engage through.”

Spotify recently launched a contextual targeting tool, which allows advertisers to position their messages against relevant podcast topics and have more control over where they are showing up.

Earlier this year, the company released clickable call-to-action (CTA) cards for podcast ads, which have since been picked up by brands including SBS, Bupa, ANZ and Deakin University, alongside early adopters, Sportsbet and McDonald’s.

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