Storytel finally launches in Brazil, hard on the heels of the low-key Confama partnership in Colombia

Later than anticipated, Storytel finally launches in Brazil in what it its second full country presence in Latin America, but its third operation in the region if you count the partnership with Confama in Colombia. And by extension Storytel’s 18th full country presence, or 19th if Colombia is counted. It would seem that for now Read More …

Canongate’s “rewarding year” with “record breaking backlist sales” and ebook, audio, and global sales all rising is part of a bigger picture

After several years of ebook sales “plateauing” as publishers increased ebook prices to avoid cannibalizing print sales, and audio grabbing the headlines as the only digital format that mattered, ebooks have been gradually edging their way back into the publishing news. This week comes an announcement from the UK’s Canongate that ebook sales were up Read More …

VIMN launches Nickelodeon ebook subscription service BooKids in France

Launching with 200 titles, and aiming to add ten new titles each month, BooKids by Nickleodeon is a new ebook subscription service from Viacom International Media Networks. Costing US$7.60 (€6.99) per month and available on Android and iOS and also as an add-on through VIMN’s pay-TV partners, BooKids by Nickelodeon, provides mobile subscribers with access Read More …

Publish MENA – the digital advantage #3 is now available

The joint StreetLib-TNPS bi-weekly newsletter Publish MENA – the digital advantage released its third issue today.  Publish MENA is a bi-weekly review of the Middle East North Africa Arab publishing scene across all formats, but with an unashamed tilt towards the digital opportunity unfolding.

Storytel to launch in Colombia September 1 as Storytel’s Latin America strategy takes shape

It may be run from Mexico, but in a few days time Storytel will formally launch in Colombia, its second Latin America market, and one of three now planned for this year. It was back in May 2018, some fifteen months ago, that TNPS broke the news of Jonas Tellander’s Latin America ambitions. Back then Read More …

“People who buy audiobooks buy more print books than people who don’t buy audiobooks” – Audible

Variety this week carries the news that Amazon’s Audible is hiring top Hollywood names to narrate its original audiobooks. Which is fair enough given this is a Hollywood story. What’s a little surprising is the coverage the story is getting in the publishing industry media. Celebrities narrating audiobooks is nothing new, but it seems anything Read More …

Peace in our time. Storytel and Bonnier sign three-year armistice. Consumers and authors are the winners, says Tellander

The problem with the subscription model is, for publishers, remuneration rates. In an all-you-can-eat model as offered to consumers by Sweden-based global digital books subscription service Storytel, paying a fixed rate per download or portion of a title read or listened to is never a viable long-term option. The USA’s Oyster famously collapsed because payments Read More …

OverDrive’s Sora digital reading app for schools had 5.5 million checkouts in its first year, and saw reading time double in six months

This is a remarkable story that blows apart the faux narratives that smartphones are destroying the reading habit and that kids don’t read digitally. Yes, of course kids love printed books, and long may they continue, but printed books have production and distribution costs as well as practical issues of accessibility (everything from fixed font Read More …

Storytel hits one million subscriber target five months ahead of expectations as audiobook and ebook users “rise significantly” during summer

Storytel has added 200,000 new subscribers since the start of 2019, taking it across the one million subscriber threshold as of today, August 12. In a press release marking the occasion Storytel CEO Jonas Tellander said, I am extremely moved and very thankful for the fantastic response Storytel receives every day from people all over Read More …

IPA announces first ever Middle East Publishing Seminar for September, with a strong focus on digital

“Read. Empower. Transform: The role of reading for the future of the Arab world” is the title of a newly announced two-day IPA (International Publishers Association) Regional Seminar that will be taking place in the Jordanian capital Amman Sept 30-Oct 1. Organised in conjunction with the Union of Jordanian Publishers the event, described as “the Read More …

As audio becomes Bulgaria’s fastest-growing publishing sector, TNPS ponders where next for Storytel

A report in Bulgaria’s Investor this week notes audio is now the fastest growing sector of Bulgarian publishing. The OP is, appropriately, in audio, and of course Bulgarian, so I’ve not been able to decipher much from the commentary, but the news gives pause for thought as to where Jonas Tellander will venture next with Read More …

Publishers look the other way as VOD streamers target Middle East’s “spiral of growth” in a “highly lucrative market of digital first consumers”

India’s SonyLIV is the latest video streaming operator to enter the lucrative and fast-growing Middle East market. Uday Sodhi business head of digital, Sony Pictures Networks India, explained, With a bustling young population who are essentially digital first consumers, the Middle East serves as a highly lucrative market for content creators like us to spiral Read More …

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 …