Welcome to the 1,000th post here on TNPS and, rather appropriately, a topic that is a regular feature of TNPS global publishing coverage: the rise and rise of the digital books streaming service Storytel.
Already present in Singapore and India, the Sweden-based digital books streaming service has just gone live with its third Asia market, in South Korea, with 50,000 audio titles on site, and is charging just 11,900 won ($10.22) per month.
Ingrid Bojner, Storytel’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) said in a press statement,
Since its inception in 2005, Storytel has been an innovative pioneer, blazing new trails for popular culture – offering laughter, learning, and powerful emotional experiences. It’s exciting to go online in South Korea, a fast-paced and digitally cutting-edge market, where we hope to achieve the same success as in our previous markets.
Serena Park, Storytel South Korea Country Manager, adds,
I’m certain Storytel has the potential to be the next big leisure-time app for all South Korean families. It offers something for everyone. For instance at the moment, I’m listening to fiction-author Kim Ae-ran while my daughter enjoys listening to the Harry Potter series in English. And I’m definitely going to recommend a few high-quality titles on parenting to my husband, who commutes every day.
The Harry Potter reference lets me slip in a quick mention here that Storytel Brazil is currently recording the Harry Potter series in Portuguese for the Brazilian market.
Will we see Harry Potter in Korean soon? No word on that yet, but my guess is it’s now just a matter of when.
With the South Korea launch, Storytel, which in on target to exceed 1.1 million subscribers by end of year, now streams in 19 markets and 20 territories – Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, India, Italy. Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the UAE.
Colombia counts as a territory rather than a market because it is run from the Mexico-based Latin-America Hub.
By comparison, Amazon-owned Audible, the audiobook outfit most western publishers regard as the only show in town, is in just nine markets – US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and India.
That said, with a growing offering of Spanish language titles Audible looks to be preparing a Spain launch that could also be leveraged in Latin America through Amazon’s Mexico presence, while an Audible Brazil launch is said to be imminent.
Further Audible is believed to be eyeing the Nordic market, with recently promotions of Swedish content, and per a forthcoming post on TNPS, some believe Amazon could launch a presence in the Nordics this month.