Spotify adds nine classic audiobooks like Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’ and Charles Dickens’ ‘Great Expectations’ narrated by celebrities including Hilary Swank and Forest Whitaker

  • Spotify is testing audiobooks and has added nine classics the its library
  • They include Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’ and Kate Chopin’s ‘The Awakening’
  • Each is narrated by a celebrity like Hilary Swank and  Forest Whitaker

Streaming giant Spotify is expanding its library of 50 million songs to include audiobooks and has released nine new public-domain classics narrated by celebrities including Hilary Swank and Forest Whitaker.

The platform known best for its music has used podcasts to drive growth since 2019, and recently began bolstering its audiobook selection as a test ‘to improve user experience.’

Users can listen to Hilary Swank narrate Kate Chopin’s ‘The Awakening,’ Cynthia Ervio read Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’ and hear Frederick Douglass memoir ‘Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave’ as told through Forest Whitaker. 

‘Some of those tests end up paving the path for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning,’ the spokesperson for the Swedish company said.

Streaming giant Spotify is expanding its library of 50 million songs to include audiobooks and has released nine new public-domain classics

In May 2020 Spotify released an audio version of ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,’ the first volume in the beloved series.

Daniel Radcliffe — who played the bespectacled wizard on film — was among the celebrities who read chapters.

And in August, the group began recruiting a head of audiobooks, a sign of ambition in the market dominated by the Amazon-owned Audible.

The nine available titles include Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ — narrated by David Dobrik, the memoir ‘Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave’ read by Whitaker, and Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’ recorded by Cynthia Erivo. Swank read Kate Chopins ‘The Awakening.’

Users can also hear Charles Dickens’ ‘Great Expectations,’ narrated by James Langton; Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre, ‘narrated by Sarah Coombs; Nella Larsen’s ‘Passing,’ narrated by Bahni Turpin; and Stephen Crane’s ‘Red Badge of Courage,’ narrated by Santino Fontana


 Users can listen to Hilary Swank narrate Kate Chopin’s ‘The Awakening,’ Cynthia Ervio read Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’ and hear Frederick Douglass memoir ‘Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave’ as told through Forest Whitaker

The books are broken up by chapter into episodes and are available for free globally. Because the works are in the public domain, Spotify does not need to pay to license them before recording their own versions.

The platform has also uploaded an audio analysis series entitled ‘Sitting with the Classics,’ hosted by Harvard literature professor Glenda Carpio.

Spotify has a massive library of music and an online culture magazine, called ‘The Pudding,’ designed an AI that tells you if your taste in music is good or if it is just plain awful.


Each of the titles are narrated by a different celebrity like Hilary Swank (left) who reads Kate Chopins ‘The Awakening’ and Forest Whitaker (right) will tell the story of ‘Frederick Douglass memoir Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave’

In addition to rating your taste in tracks, the ‘How Bad Is Your Spotify?’ app will tell you which songs you play too much and which artists you are obsessed with ‘to an uncomfortable extent.’ 

‘My spotify AI really came at me,’ tweeted one Taylor Swift fan, who was told her Spotify playlist was ‘folklore-evermore-dumbledore-witch-pop-eyeliner-and-screaming-cottagecore bad’

Another shared they had been told, due to their constant playing of Eminem and Blink 182, that their playlist was ‘moms-spaghetti-high-school-graduation-middle-aged-pop-punk bad.’

Source: Read Full Article