Back in September Bonnier’s audiobook arm Bookbeat added Germany to its portfolio of satellite sites in Finland and the UK and its home base in Sweden.
This week comes news that Bookbeat has headhunted Amazon Audible Germany’s Kathrin Rüstig to head Content and Publisher Relations at the Bookbeat DE operation.
In doing so Bonnier doesn’t just get Rüstig’s inside-Germanyknowledge of Audible but also of Amazon DE itself, as she began her Amazon career there eighteen years ago.
The beta-launch in Germany has been a period of experimentation for Bonnier’s Bookbeat, which had picked up some fifty German publishers before launch.
Bookbeat (Sweden) CEO said,
The German market offers a lot of potential and we have big plans for the next few years and we are delighted to have Kathrin Rüstig as a proven and long-time expert on the audiobook scene and digital audio book distribution. Our goal is to continue to drive the growth of the German-speaking audiobook market together with all publishers – with transparent revenue models, a customer-friendly offer and in close exchange of ideas with our partners.
Bookbeat DE offers unlimited streaming from a catalogue of 10,000 audiobooks for 14.90 euros per month.
In Sweden and Finland, with no competition from Amazon to worry about, Bonner’s Bookbeat is the market leader in Finland and second to Storytel in Sweden.
But lest we get carried away with audio’s seemingly unstoppable momentum, we would do well to reflect on the early ebook years, when ebooks too seemed unstoppable and an endless pot of gold for authors and publishers.
Time was the recipe for ebook success was, for many, as simple as write publish-repeat.
Audio is a much more expensive proposition, outlets are at this stage fewer, and the rewards of topping the audio charts unlikely to match the rewards for topping the ebook charts.
But audio is an incredibly exciting opportunity for authors and publishers to reach new audiences, both for our existing and new content.