Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) is breaking into the audiobook business. Currently, the company is mostly known for music and podcasts, but it will now offer over 300,000 audiobook titles. Spotify Audiobooks launched on Tuesday, Sept. 20 and it’s got investors’ — and readers’ — attention.
Dubbed “a new chapter for listening” by the company, Spotify is hoping that audiobooks will act as another growth avenue for the business. Given what it already does with streaming audio and podcasts, Spotify Audiobooks was a natural segue for the company.
The audiobook market is growing 20% year over year and it represents a 6% to 7% share of the wider book market. Spotify’s goal is to provide all your listening needs in one place, further ratcheting up its competition with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and others.
Nir Zicherman, Vice President and Global Head of Audiobooks and Gated Content at Spotify, says:
We’ve always believed that the potential for audio is limitless, and we’ve been saying for a while now that our ambition is to be the complete package for everyone’s listening needs.
What Does Spotify Audiobooks Mean for SPOT Stock?
While Spotify Audiobooks is a clear positive for book-listeners and current customers, it’s not having much of an impact on SPOT stock. At least, not yet.
Shares of Spotify fell 2.5% on Tuesday and lost roughly 6.5% over a three-day losing streak. While SPOT stock is roughly flat on Wednesday, shares were down almost 2% earlier in the day and hit their lowest level since July.
Lastly, it hasn’t been an easy stretch for the company. Shares of Spotify are down about 75% from their all-time highs. At this year’s low, the stock was down 77%. So while we saw a decent bounce from the 2022 lows, the gains haven’t been sustained.
Could Spotify audiobooks change the outlook for SPOT stock?
While it may not have an immediate impact, the company sure is optimistic, saying: “We believe that audio and long-form content is a much bigger business than what many would have thought.”
Despite the clobbering in the stock price, analysts still expect roughly 10% revenue growth this year. In 2023, those expectations accelerate up to 16% growth. Unfortunately though — and this explains the losses in SPOT stock — earnings are forecast to get crushed. After losing $1.18 a share in 2021, consensus estimates call for a loss of $2.08 a share in 2022.
Ultimately, the hope is that audiobooks can be a longer-term catalyst for the business once the stock price turns around.
On the date of publication, Bret Kenwell did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.