Authors orgs raise concerns about Spotify audiobook streaming offer

Australian Society of Authors

In a new audiobook streaming deal, Spotify has announced that their Premium subscribers in the UK and Australia/NZ may access up to 15 hours of free audiobook content per month. It has been reported that all of the major publishing houses have agreed to this streaming deal and over 150,000 audiobooks are available as part of this program, which includes New Zealand titles.

While the growth in audiobooks is exciting, the promotion of audiobooks has value, and competition to the market dominance of Audible is welcome, we are highly aware of the impact of streaming and subscription models on creator income and want to ensure that the remuneration to authors is fair. While we appreciate the Spotify subscription does not offer unlimited hours of listening, we estimate there aren’t many average readers who would consume more than 15 hours of content in a month.

Society of Authors UK slams ‘lack of consultation’ on Spotify audiobooks deals

The Society of Authors (SoA) has said it is “deeply concerned” about the streaming deals the major publishers have agreed with Spotify, saying that writers haven’t been consulted and streaming will damage book sales. The SoA’s c.e.o. Nicola Solomon has also suggested that the competition authorities should be alerted over the deals. It was announced last week that all the major publishers had entered into deals with the Swedish tech company, with several agents optimistic about how Spotify’s streaming programme could amplify authors and provide competition to Audible. The SoA has heavily criticised the new development.  In a statement the authors’ body said: “The Society of Authors was deeply concerned last week to learn from press reports that ‘all major book publishers’ have agreed new limited streaming deals with Spotify. Under these agreements, subscribers to the Spotify Premium service in the UK and Australia will gain access to up to 15 hours of audiobook content per month through the Spotify app, from a catalogue of more than 150,000 audiobooks.’

Alongside the UK Society of Authors and the US Authors Guild, the ASA and NZSA raise concerns and will bring you more information about this model as it comes to light.

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