With $26 million in new funding in 2020 we are now seeing the first stages of Nextory’s 2021 European expansion plans, which will encompass “several” countries.

Nextory Norway will join Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and The Netherlands this spring as Nextory continues its expansion across Europe.

A partnership with one of Norway’s “Big Three” publishers, Aschehoug, has been officially announced this weekend, enabling Nextory to offer a competitive range of Norwegian content, both from Aschehoug  and from Cappelen Damm, Strawberry, Vigmostad & Björke, Kagge, Samlaget and Goliat.

Magnus Nytell, Head of Expansion at Nextory, makes the point that it will be,

good for the Norwegian book market that an independent subscription service is coming; both for authors and publishers as well as for consumers.

Independent? In fact there are already three streaming services in Norway, all owned by publishers: Storytel Norway, jointly owned by Norway’s Cappelen Damm and Sweden’s Storytel; Fabel, run by Lydbokforlaget and in turn jointly owned by Aschehoug and Gyldendal, and a much smaller player, Ebok Pluss, owned by Vigmostad & Bjørke.

For Aschehoug, Åse Ryvarden, Publishing Director for Literature, said,

We are very pleased that we now also have an agreement with Nextory and we look forward to bringing Aschehoug’s authors and books out to even more listeners and readers.

That of course is one of the keys to the unlimited streaming model’s popularity with Scandinavian publishers – new reach in a competitive market. The other of course being the data-mining that subscription offers.

At which point it is worth harking back to the aforementioned list of rival players and noting Aschehoug is in fact behind the Norwegian streaming service Fabel.

One of the most interesting developments in the Scandinavian streaming experiment is the manner in which publishers put the wider interest of authors and publisher in maximising reach before control of content. Compare the position of Penguin Random House, which chose to pull all its content from unlimited services.

While Norway will be Nextory’s 8th market the press release confirms there are plans to launch in several other European countries this year.

Per a TNPS report in January, the Norway launch was initially expected in April/May, and that new announcement would seem to bear that out.

It will be the first Nextory launch of 2021, the last launch being Netherlands in December 2020.

In November 2020 Nextory pulled in $20 million in new funding –

having pulled in $6 million a year ago in March 2020.