This is Storytel’s global reach as we start October 2018: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, India, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Italy, with imminent launches in Bulgaria and Mexico, and a Brazil launch unconfirmed but looking likely.
With the exception of Italy, none are countries where Amazon’s Audible is an active player. Amazon is operational in Mexico and Brazil, but Audible has no production base in these countries, and an expected Audible India launch earlier this year has yet to materialize (although signs are it could be soon).
But while Storytel prefers to avoid a head-to-head with Audible, and plucks the low-hanging fruit of unexplored orchards, BookBeat and Nextory feel they are nimble enough to play in Amazon’s back yard.
BookBeat launched in Germany just over a year ago, and in January tempted Audible DE’s Kathrin Rüstig to head Content and Publisher Relations at the Bookbeat DE operation.
Earlier this week, amid news of continued growth, BookBeat announced plans for further expansion of its Germany operation.
Now Svensk Bokhandel reports Storytel and BookBeat rival Nextory is preparing a launch in Germany via a strategic partnership with Libreka.
Nextory CEO Shadi Bitar told SvB,
The German market looks a bit different from Sweden. There are major international players and about 50 percent of the audiobook market is still physical, which means great opportunities to develop digital reading.
Since Germany is one of the world’s largest digital book markets, there is an extremely high potential. It is natural that we have plans to establish ourselves there.
No timetable has been announced but Bitar tells SvB it will be “shortly.”
As per previous coverage here at TNPS. Nextory has ambitions to be the biggest ebook player in Scandinavia –
but for Germany both ebooks and audiobooks are already well-catered for by established players.
This will be interesting!