Storytel’s subscription royalties rose 6.4% in Q2. But is $0.20 per hour enough to keep publishers happy? Does the subscription model have a future?

At the start of this year Storytel changed its remuneration model for publishers, from a fixed payment per unit consumed to a rate per hour of consumption. Under the old model Storytel paid publishers between $1.81-$2.13 per book consumed, which disproportionately rewarded shorter works and penalized longer ones. It’s a debate we are all familiar Read More …

As OverDrive’s Libby partners with Apple’s CarPlay, how long before publishers start reigning in digital library audiobooks?

Thanks to a deal between Apple and Rakuten-OverDrive, the digital library app Libby is now compatible with Apple’s CarPlay in-car entertainment system. According to OverDrive the Libby app is now available from 90% of North American public libraries, and drivers with a library card and the CarPlay system can, select and navigate audiobooks with large, Read More …

Russia’s LitRes expands its Poland operation as North American ebook players continue to ignore east Europe

When it comes to Russian ebooks and audio, one company leads the field. LitRes holds 66% of the Russian digital books market, is a significant player across Eurasia, and is expanding into east Europe. In 2018 LitRes saw its revenues rise 48%, and over 2 million audiobooks were sold, double that in 2017, comprising 25% Read More …

Morten Strunge’s Danish podcast start-up Podimo raises $6.7 million in seed funding for September launch

Nowadays we think of Mofibo as the ebook arm of Storytel, but Mofibo has been dominating the European digital books subscription scene since 2013, three years before Jonas Tellander paid $15 million in 2016 to bring the service into the Storytel fold. Now Mofibo founder Morten Strunge is set to take on Apple and Spotify Read More …

Storytel beats subscriber and revenue forecasts for Q2 with annual growth at 37%

The latest results from Storytel offer no surprises but also, sadly, no real detail beyond what we’ve come to expect. On target for one million subscribers by end 2019, Storytel hit 887,500 subscribers in Q2, an increase of 53,200 on Q1. The forecast was 800,000, and a predictable press release says simply, Storytel therefore surpasses Read More …

Storytel marks its first year in Italy with a tripled catalogue size and an Originals launch

It’s one year since Storytel went head to head with Amazon’s Audible in Italy, and so far Storytel are keeping their consumer numbers quiet, but are more profligate with the catalogue figures. Having kicked off with just 1,300 Italian titles and “tens of thousands” of English-language titles it was clear Audible Italy was not going Read More …

The imaginary death of books by streaming continues as Netflix makes “massive financial commitment” to DC’s “most-expensive TV foray ever”

Neil Gaiman’s Sandman is no stranger to options. The graphic novel has been in line to become a feature film on a few occasions, reports The Hollywood Reporter, but none managed the distance. One reason was summed up by screenwriter Eric Heiserrer, who said in 2016, the best version of this property exists as an HBO Read More …

Ebooks delivered the highest percentage of AAP publisher revenue in US adult fiction in 2018

It will have surprised few that, for the second year running, the StatShot Annual Report of the Association of American Publishers has reported online retail exceeded bricks & mortar stores in delivering revenue to member publishers. And taking a step back, if we allow that most AAP member publishers have a lot of investment in Read More …

In the audiobook market stakes, Bookbeat takes a surprise lead, adding 24 markets. Total 28. But this isn’t a gamechanger yet

With just 50,000 titles Bonnier’s Bookbeat is no match for Audible or Storytel in volume terms, and we shouldn’t see the sudden leap from 4 to 28 markets as a gamechanger for CEO Niclas Sandin. Sandin himself concedes as much. The press release Sandin optimistically states, We believe that the audio book can become one Read More …

Storytel launches in Germany, leaving Brazil, Thailand and South Korea to come for 2019

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 Read More …

Airtel Africa’s $1 billion London IPO holds promise for Africa’s publishing industry

When it comes to identifying publishing opportunities in the emerging African markets one can do worse than watch the telcos. Telcos potentially provide the ideal connection between consumers and publishers in countries and regions where traditional ink on paper publishing faces insurmountable challenges, and that the mainstream digital book operators have deemed not worthwhile. Telcos Read More …

Ka-Pow! Marvel partners with Dreamscape to produce superhero audiobooks from classic Marvel comics

Variety reports this week that Marvel Entertainment has partnered with Dreamscape Media to turn some classic comic titles into audiobooks. If you’e thinking that’s a bit like trying to put a square peg in a round hole, join the club. But no, it’s not April 1st and it does seem this is for real. Dreamscape Read More …

StreetLib enters the global audiobook market. Partners with Il Narratore for production, and with Audible, Google Play, Storytel and others for distribution

StreetLib is the publisher behind The New Publishing Standard, and while TNPS is not a StreetLib promotional vehicle and we don’t routinely carry StreetLib news, StreetLib’s global expansion clearly falls within the TNPS global publishing industry news remit. As ever on such occasions, we re-print the StreetLib Press Release in full below without further TNPS commentary. Read More …

With the “attention economy” the latest buzzword excuse for perceived falling book sales, how is it Scandinavia is seeing both video and book streaming rise simultaneously?

The rise and rise of audiobook and ebook subscription streaming across the Scandinavian countries has been mentioned here at TNPS so often it hardly needs rehearsing again. But this week the tremendous interest in digital reading in northwest Europe takes on new significance as we learn that video-streaming is still rising in these same countries, Read More …

Storytel announces South Korea launch for 2019, along with Brazil, Germany and Singapore, leaving Thailand unconfirmed

We’ve known since late 2018 that Sweden-based Storytel would be launching in at least five new markets this year, and now all but one are confirmed. Storytel Singapore launched in April, and is known to have a Brazil launch due any day and a Germany launch set for the summer. Storytel launches in Singapore. Adds Read More …

Storytel Russia’s first post-apocalypse original series commissioned for ten markets

Metro 33 author Dmitry Glukhovsky has made headlines in Russia recently for penning his latest novel direct for audio – not a paperback in sight – to launch Storytel Russia’s Storytel Originals in the country. POST is set in a post-apocalypse Russia where the Trans-Siberian Railway links what’s left of a divided country.The only thread Read More …

In a bizarre twist in the Storytel-Bonnier dispute, both companies say they are winners and are earning more without the other

It’s so counterintuitive it needs to be read twice, but in the battle between Sweden’s biggest streaming service, Storytel, and Sweden’s biggest publisher Bonnier, which also happens to own Sweden’s second biggest streaming outfit, Bookbeat, it seems both companies are making more money by having less content available. But is that the full story, is Read More …

Is the Frankfurt Book Fair responsible for a 40% drop in Norwegian fiction sales in April?

Denmark’s publishing industry journal BogMarketed has an interesting take on plummeting fictions sales in Norway. Amid suggestions from some quarters that audiobooks may be to blame for the collapse in fiction sales in Norway last month comes an improbable but not implausible explanation. New figures from the Publishers’ Association show an alarming decrease of 39% Read More …

Storytel to gift its VAT bonus to publishers, quelling disquiet about royalties under the new pay per minute system

When Jonas Tellander announced Storytel’s plan to moved from a fixed rate payout for publishers to a per-minute-consumed model there was understandable disquiet from publishers, many of whom believed the new model would see their revenue streams cut. And of course some did. Under the old model a one-hour podcast would earn as much for Read More …

Vkontakte, Russia’s answer to Facebook, prepares for audiobook subscription service launch

Although it supports 89 languages, the social media platform VK is best known in its home country Russia, where you’re far more likely to find fellow Russians than on Facebook, and it is with Russian publishers that VK is working as it prepares to launch its audiobook subscription service. VK has 97 million monthly active Read More …