Thursday, March 4, 2021

Spotify Joins Audiobooks With Nine Public Domain Works

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Spotify’s aggressive move towards content beyond music continues today, as the company tests a small audiobook “pilot” on the platform. Specifically, nine classic audiobooks will be available starting today. This isn’t technically the first time Spotify has offered audiobooks, although previously it only had a star reading from the first Harry Potter novel. All nine new books are public domain titles like Mary Shelley Frankenstein, Charles Dickens’ Great expectations and Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

Naturally, Spotify recruited some well-known names to read the books again, including Hilary Swank (reading Kate Chopin’s Awakening) and Forest Whitaker (reading Fredrick Douglass’ book An Account of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave). Along with the audiobooks themselves, Spotify also includes a free “Deep Dive” on each book by Professor Glenda Carpio at Harvard. While these books are all in the public domain, new recordings and additional content from Carpio will be exclusive to Spotify; both free and premium users will be able to access these books.

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