Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory review and approval.
Spotify positioned the pact as letting it quickly bring a large catalog of audiobooks to its massive user base — totaling 381 million monthly active users as of Q3 — in the way the company jump-started its push into podcasts with the acquisitions of Gimlet, Anchor, Parcast and The Ringer. The move will put Spotify in more direct competition with Amazon’s Audible, the biggest player in the audiobook space.
According to Spotify, Findaway’s technology infrastructure will let the company “quickly scale its audiobook catalog and innovate on the experience for consumers, simultaneously providing new avenues for publishers, authors and independent creators to reach new audiences around the globe.”
With Findaway, Spotify expects to “revolutionize the audiobook space as we did with music and podcasts,” Gustav Söderström, Spotify’s chief R&D officer, said in a statement. “It is Spotify’s ambition to be the destination for all things audio both for listeners and creators. The acquisition of Findaway will accelerate Spotify’s presence in the audiobook space and will help us more quickly meet that ambition.”
Findaway first started out in 2005 with Playaway, a pre-loaded MP3 audiobook player. Today, the company says it distributes more than 325,000 audiobook titles from publishers worldwide. The company operates AudioEngine, a business-to-business audiobooks marketplace, and self-publishing platform Findaway Voices.
Post-acquisition, Findaway will maintain its headquarters in Solon, Ohio, and will continue to be led by Findaway founder and CEO Mitch Kroll, who will report to Nir Zicherman, Spotify’s head of audiobooks. “Together with Spotify we have the opportunity to innovate and democratize the audiobook ecosystem,” Kroll said in a statement.