The Weekly News Wr(app) – Spotify Trying its Hand at Audiobooks, LinkedIn Adds New Creator Tools, Fintech Apps Doing Well in India

Spotify trying its hands in Audiobooks, LinkedIn adds new creator tools, fintech apps doing well in India

Weekly News For You To Stay Updated With The App Industry

Spotify is planning to make it big. They recently declared a target revenue of $100 billion within the next decade. How are they going to do it? Through audiobooks. At least, that’s one of the ways.

Another bit of news we’ve got is from the antitrust body in the UK, which concluded a report on Google and Apple that is eerily similar to what we know here in India.

Check out all these tidbits and more in the latest edition of the Weekly News Wr(app):

1. Dutch-dating apps facing some relief from Apple

A couple of months ago, Apple had finally conceded ground over the in-app payment dispute for dating apps in the Netherlands. Following orders from the Authorities for Consumers & Markets (ACM), Apple is allowing Dutch developers to allow its users to use alternative payment methods and will be charged a 12% commission instead of its usual 30%.

In true big tech style, however, Apple is appealing the order because they believe this move is not in the best interest of users’ privacy and data security.

Apple tried to somehow circumvent these orders by adding a warning message to users about using third-party payment options with a button to return to using Apple’s payment gateway. This was rejected by the Dutch regulators, however.

At least those Dutch dating app developers are having some respite. We need more of that around the world.


CMA logo

2. UK antitrust regulator concludes a troubling report on Google and Apple

In more antitrust news, this time from the UK, Google and Apple were charged with “harming consumers from weak competition” and setting restrictive “rules for the game” for developers.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) released a report that furnished the public with details on how the big tech companies Google and Apple are charging rates to developers that are above the competitive level thanks to the lack of competition. The report also stated that consumers are potentially losing out due to a lack of competition and innovation.

Because Apple and Google maintain a tight grip on app distribution through their respective app stores, they can set the rules for app developers and charge commissions that are way above a competitive rate.

Also due to the lack of competition and innovation, investors are less likely to fund projects to develop new products. For example, no one is going to build an operating system that will take on Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android.

Because of the duopoly, entry and expansion into the market are effectively denied. We’ve had talk of an alternative OS in India but we know how hard that’s going to be unless the government steps in and takes a hard stance.

The report is a comprehensive one, and it provides vital information on the business practices of Apple and Google. But it’s nothing that we’ve not heard before. Competitors of the big tech duo are well aware of the problems that exist. It’s a question of what can be done to ensure equality.


Spotify trying its hands in Audiobooks, LinkedIn adds new creator tools, fintech apps doing well in India

3. India one of the leading markets for fintech apps

India and Southeast Asia are the leading markets for fintech apps according to data from Sensor Tower.

In Q1 2022, Asia saw 880 million downloads of fintech apps, a 44% increase from pre-pandemic numbers. One of the largest contributors to this number was Crypto apps which accounted for 7% of the downloads of the Top 50 fintech apps. In 2021, Crypto apps were downloaded 21 million times which was a huge jump from the 6 million downloads recorded in 2020.

Globally, fintech apps recorded a total of 6.1 billion downloads in 2021, a 25.2% increase from 2020. In Q1 2022, fintech apps were downloaded 1.74 billion times globally, a new record.

Apparently, a lot of us have migrated to using financial services digitally thanks to the pandemic. Even with Crypto facing a lot of uncertainty recently, it still did well in terms of downloads at least. Fintech seems to have a big future in India and abroad too.


4. Spotify is all in on the audiobook market

The music streaming giants recently declared that they expect their revenue to hit $100 billion in 10 years. They changed the way we access music and they’ve even successfully got a few of us to subscribe to its premium service (according to their data, Spotify doubled its new customer base over the last 6 months).

They also turned the podcast market on its head with their exclusive deals with top podcasters and in-house podcasts for its listeners.

Now Spotify wants to disrupt the audiobook market with its own offering. They started their work last November with the acquisition of audiobook distributor Findaway. And in their recently concluded Investor Day event, Spotify made it clear that audiobooks are their next foray into the audio space.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek dubbed the audiobook market as a $70 billion annual opportunity. He went on to say that the global book market is “estimated to be around $140 billion dollars”, with audiobooks “having only about a 6%-7% market share”. But Ek says that the most penetrated audiobook market is close to 50% which makes this opportunity tantalizing.

According to Nir Zicherman, head of Spotify’s Audiobooks and Gated Content Vertical, the platform “will soon be a place where consumers can purchase and listen to their favorite audiobooks, right in Spotify.”

This is good news for regular Spotify users and audiobook fans. You have to admit that Spotify has a great UI and an excellent personalization algorithm that makes the discovery of new music so easy.

Though they are getting preferential treatment from Google which makes their life a little bit easier. They even admitted as much at the Investor Day event. Not that we want to play spoilsport to the festivities, it just makes you wonder why others don’t get the same treatment.


5. LinkedIn adding new creator tools

The Creator Mode on LinkedIn hit its one-year anniversary recently and it also got the perfect birthday gift of 10 million members using the feature.

Now they’ve announced new features for Creator Mode that will further the connection between creators and their followers. These include expanding the Audio Event access to more creators, highlighting a URL on their profile, and methods to gain more followers.

Previously, the Audio Event feature was limited to a few creators but now it’ll be available to more provided that these creators meet all the community policy requirements. Creators used the Audio Event to host conversations with thought leaders, connect with followers, conduct ask-me-anything sessions, etc. 

Like many other platforms, LinkedIn is also trying to tap into the audio space with a live event feature to increase engagement and make the platform attractive to its users.

Other features include adding a URL to the top of your profile so that people who visit your profile could potentially be directed to your business website or blog.

LinkedIn will also introduce a button that will allow users of other platforms to follow you on LinkedIn. They’ve also made it easier for creators to be found through search, connection requests become automatic followers, and more.

If you’re a content creator, LinkedIn could be a great place to showcase your work and network with other creators.


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