Well, we still don’t have anything official from Amazon to say one way or another, but we do know Amazon is in Sweden preparing something.
And Sweden’s Breakit this week decided to take a close look at exactly what it is Amazon is up to in the land of Storytel.
As reported here at TNPS back in March, amid the rumours Amazon was preparing a launch of some sort this autumn, there was no suggestion Amazon was in discussion with publishers.
And by July, although the rumours were stronger, it was again clear publishers had no need for concern.
Then this past week Breakit’s Stefan Lundell set out with some investigative companions, entrepreneurs Paul Fischbein and Nicklas Storåkers, who know what the signs would be, to take a look at a large warehouse an hour’ drive from Stockholm, in Mälardalen, believed to be Amazon’s.
Using drones to get a close-up view, Lundell and pals were able to assure us categorically that the Amazon projects showed no consistency with warehousing, and were in fact future data centres
That said, Lundell still remains convinced Amazon has wider designs on Sweden
At least for now, Swedish e-commerce can draw a sigh of relief. The question is for how long.
One thing to bear in mind is that Swedish is one of the supported languages for Kindle Direct Publishing, meaning Amazon has an easy route in to Sweden with a possible Kindle Sweden store, but without major Swedish publishers on board that seems unlikely.
In audio Amazon has effectively lost the battle before it starts, with Storytel controlling 80% of the Swedish audiobook market, with Bookbeat and Nextory taking the rest.
For print, Sweden is a small market by Amazon standards and hardly likely to be a realistic investment proposition.
So our best take at this time is that Amazon will launch in Sweden sometime soon, but with AWS in the driving seat.