Spotify has decided to step into the world of audiobooks, and it's starting things off with nine books you may have heard of narrated by some names you may recognize. If you've been running out of music and podcasts to listen to, it might not be a bad idea to get a better grasp of some literary classics.
These nine audiobooks are part of public domain, but these original recordings are exclusive to Spotify. The company is using these nine to gauge whether or not this would be a plausible addition to the service. Each audiobook comes with a 10- to 15-minute "Sitting with the Classics on Spotify" chapter with Harvard professor Glenda Carpio that goes over the history, narratives, and themes. Here are the titles on offer:
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, narrated by David Dobrik
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass, narrated by Forest Whitaker
- The Awakening by Kate Chopin, narrated by Hilary Swank
- Persuasion by Jane Austen, narrated by Cynthia Erivo
- Cane by Jean Toomer, narrated by Audra McDonald
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, narrated by James Langton
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, narrated, by Sarah Coombs
- Passing by Nella Larsen, narrated by Bahni Turpin
- Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, narrated by Santino Fontana
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek first thought about adding audiobooks to the portfolio when he saw their popularity with German users. A few months ago, Spotify posted a job opening for a head of audiobooks, further signaling interest in the market. The company has experimented with audiobooks before, bringing the first book in the Harry Potter series to the platform last year with narration by celebrities like Daniel Radcliffe, David Beckham, and Dakota Fanning, but we hadn't heard anything since then.
You can listen to these audiobooks now on Spotify globally for free. They should be showing up pretty close to the top of your Home tab, so they should be easy to find.
- The Hollywood Reporter