Back in May 2018 The New Publishing Standard was the first English-language industry journal to break the news of Storytel’s Latin America plans.
Since when the Mexico launch has been confirmed as set for end 2018.
In August I reported on Storytel’s’s Asia ambitions and added a note there that Sweden’s Boktugg asked Storytel about the Brazil plans but received a “No comment” response.
But now Stefan Tegenfalk, Head of Expansion at Storytel, has in a press release confirmed the TNPS story for May. Storytel will be launching in Brazil in 2019, and is already busy producing content.
Earlier this year Storytel announced its expansion into Mexico and Spanish-speaking Latin America; Storytel is now also opening an office in Brazil, whose main language is Portuguese. The streaming service is set to launch in 2019, operated by a local team in São Paolo within the Streaming division.
Through contracts with leading Brazilian publishers, Storytel has started to produce audio books in Brazilian Portuguese, in order to build up a strong content catalogue before launching the service.
.Brazil’s population of 210 million people makes it the world’s ninth largest market, which obviously makes it a vital location for us. Subscription services for music and films have reached far and wide in the country, which bodes well for audio books.
Currently Storytel is operational in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, India, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Italy. The Mexico launch is expected in December, with a Singapore launch set for early 2019. We know that Storytel also has an operation in Bulgaria, but no sign yet when that will go live.
We know Storytel was active at the 2017 Buenos Aries and Bogota book fairs (Argentina and Colombia for those who flunked geography) and has offices in Thailand for its Asia expansion, where TNPS predicts Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines will be priority targets for Jonas Tellander and Stefan Teganfalk.
Given the language connection with Brazil we might also expect Storytel to add Portugal to its European list in 2019.
It should be noted that while Amazon is long-established In Brazil its audiobook arm Audible is not, meaning Storytel and Amazon are only head to head with audiobooks in two countries – Italy and India.
Amazon launched in India earlier this month, almost a year after Storytel.