The first one Harry potter delivered, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, becomes even easier to access. Various celebrities, including Daniel Radcliffe, Stephen Fry and Eddie Redmayne, take turns recording the 17 chapters of the book on video, with one chapter being published weekly. The video will be available for free at harrypotterathome.com and the audio will be available exclusively on Spotify. The first chapter, read by Radcliffe, went online today.
Other celebrity narrators include Dakota Fanning, Claudia Kim, David Beckham and Noma Dumezweni. More celebrity announcements are coming soon, and chapters will be released in mid-summer. This is a particularly big plus for Spotify because last month Audible announced its exclusive streaming rights to Stephen Fry’s reading of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. (The book is also available there in Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Japanese.) Spotify clearly needed its own content to be competitive.
This book reading is part of author J.K. Rowling’s effort to make his work easier to access during the pandemic. She and her team relaxed license restrictions to allow teachers to read books virtually to their students during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are some restrictions, the main one being that teachers can only read books on closed educational platforms like Google Classroom or Schoology, rather than on public and commercial platforms like YouTube. Teachers are also encouraged to stick to the books exactly as they are written.