After the launch in Singapore earlier this year, Storytel was widely expected to follow through with Brazil and then Germany. South Korea had been confirmed for end of year, and Thailand, while not yet official, the prime candidate for the fifth new market for 2019.
Stefan Tegenfalk, Head of Expansion at Storytel, said in a press release:
Storytel announced in February that during the summer of 2019, it would be entering the German market –– and today its German service goes online, making Germany Storytel’s 17th market.
Germany’s audio-book market accounts for approximately 180 million Euros in annual turnover, and is in a state of transition with streaming comprising the fastest growing segment.
Our soft launch in Germany comes at an exciting time, when lots of people are showing interest in streaming services and discovering the benefits of being able to enjoy stories anytime, anywhere. It feels fantastic to know that Storytel, which is Scandinavia’s leading audio-book service, is contributing to increasing the pace of these developments in one of Europe’s most populous and important countries. We’re looking towards the future with confidence and a great deal of enthusiasm.
No mention here of what the delays are with Brazil, which as long ago as November 2018 was slated as a spring 2019 launch.
Storytel fields over 200,000 titles across its 17 markets, which as of this week are:
Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, India, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Italy, Bulgaria, Mexico, Singapore and Germany. If Brazil, Thailand and South Korea run to plan we’ll see Storytel in 20 markets by the end of the year.
The contrast with Amazon’s Audible is stark. Audible is in just 8 markets – USA, Canada, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, bulking out that reach by adding Ireland to UK, adding New Zealand to Australia, adding Belgium and Switzerland to France, and adding Austria and Switzerland to Germany.
It’s not clear how potential customers in those countries feel about having to go to another country’s store and pay in another country’s currency to download audiobooks, but one would imagine Storytel will have the advantage if and when it tackles those markets.
While Storytel is now head to head with Audible in three markets (India, Italy and Germany) it is to Germany that all eyes will turn to see how Storytel, with less content but a better pricing plan, can compete in a market where Audible is well-established.