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Spotify paid $123 million for Findaway, the bedrock of its audiobook ambitions

The deal closed in June after a lengthy DOJ review

Image: Findaway

Spotify’s purchase of Findaway, a platform that allows users to create, distribute, and monetize their own audiobooks, cost it €117 million, or around $123 million USD, the company revealed today. Findaway will provide the infrastructure for what will become the third pillar of Spotify’s business. The streaming service first announced the acquisition last November.

“We believe that audiobooks, in their many different forms, will be a massive opportunity,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told investors at a presentation last month. “And just as we’ve done in podcasting, expect us to play to win.”

Spotify’s acquisition of Findaway is reminiscent of when it bought Anchor in 2019. Like Anchor, Findaway is focused on DIY content and could potentially bring a whole new category of creators to the streamer. Fittingly, Spotify’s audiobook business operates under Nir Zicherman, co-founder of Anchor.

Audiobook functionality will arrive inside Spotify “quite imminently,” Ek said on Wednesday. Executives have indicated that the service will operate differently than the industry’s dominant player, Amazon’s Audible. Audible subscribers pay $14.95 per month for one credit a month, with one credit worth one book. It is unclear whether premium subscribers will have unlimited access to audiobooks, but content and ad business chief Dawn Ostroff indicated last month that there will be an ad-supported tier.

Ek is confident that audiobooks will deliver the kind of earnings that investors are looking for, with profit margins north of 40 percent. With Findaway’s nine-figure price tag, hopefully he will be proven correct. Investors have been disappointed that the company’s big-money investments in podcasting have yet to pay off.

Spotify also revealed the price tag on a couple of other big acquisitions today. Podsights and Chartable cost the company a combined €83 million (around $94 million USD at the time), and Sonantic cost €91 million (around $96 million USD). No price tag yet for Heardle, though.