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 …

Bookwire MACS evolves into Bookwire OS – “the operating system for digital publishing”

Germany’s Bookwire has launched its new operating system Bookwire OS across its core markets – Germany, UK, Spain and Latin America. Bookwire CEO Jens Klingelhöfer said, Bookwire OS offers a solution for all aspects of digital publishing of eBooks, audiobooks and print-on-demand products. In the coming months, we will launch new intelligent features for our Read More …

Arabic audiobook operator Kitab Sawti grows 20% month on month. Picks up $6 million in new funding as Amazon remains ambivalent towards the Arab book markets

Headquartered in Stockholm, Kitab Sawti has since 2016 been working the Arab audiobook market, largely unnoticed by the outside world. It’s not alone – Dhad, Booklava and of course Storytel Arabia are among its rivals for the affections of Arab audiobook lovers, but it’s a telling point that whereas Storytel is expecting to hit the Read More …

Amazon launches in UAE, home of UNESCO World Book Capital, with only third-party-seller books, no Kindle store and no Arab self-publishing option

The rebranding of online Arab marketplace Souq will surprise few. Two years after Amazon bought Souq it is now, for the UAE at least, rebranded as Amazon AE, and the previously reported January 2019 focus on opening up the Middle East to the US marketplace continues as expected. Middle East online bookstore Jamalon raises $10m Read More …

Brazil’s biggest audiobook operator Ubook expands operation with original content and a foreign rights buying spree

Flávio Osso’s Ubook has long had the Brazilian audiobook market to itself, with no serious interest from rivals within the country or beyond its borders. That’s about to change, with Storytel due to launch in Brazil at any time, and Amazon’s Audible said to be preparing for any entrance at some unspecified future date. But as Read More …

Harry Potter now available in Arabic audiobook format via Storytel, but press release gets ahead of itself and states Storytel is in 18 countries

Back at the Cairo International Book Fair earlier this year Storytel announced its plans to launch the Harry Potter books in Arabic as audiobooks, and the first audiobook is now available to download. It’s a huge boost for Storytel Arabia and likely to bring to the platform a lot of new subscribers. A press release Read More …

Sweden’s subscription model faces its biggest challenge yet as Bonnier and Storytel go to war

It was a confrontation waiting to happen, and perhaps the real surprise here is that it hasn’t happened sooner. Storytel has long since established itself as the market leader in audiobook subscription, and an essential component of any publisher’s marketing strategy. Not least of the Swedish publishing giant Bonnier. But from the day Bonier launched Read More …

Storytel launches in Singapore. Adds 65,000 subscribers in Q1, bringing in $32m from streaming services. Targets 39% annual growth

There were no big surprises from Storytel for Q1 2019, with the final numbers missing forecasts by such a tiny number as not to matter. 835,000 subscribers forecast and 834,700 delivered. That’s up 65,600 on Q4 2018. 297 million SEK forecast from streaming revenue materialized as 296 million. At this rate Storytel is in serious Read More …

7.7 million audiobooks users in France. 51% are first-timers. French audiobook listeners read more print books than regular readers

The first survey of French audiobook users this year shows a significant increase in audiobook take-up compared to a year ago. According to the OpinionWay survey, conducted between 30 January 30 and 19 February,14% of French citizens aged 15 and over have listened to an audiobook while a further 7% intend to. Younger booklovers lead Read More …

Publishers stand to lose sales worth $46,000 per day thanks to poor search abilities of smartspeakers

For a while it seemed like smartspeakers were the new black of digital audio, driving sales ever higher. But a new study by Score Publishing suggests all is not well in the smartspeaker market, with book-related search queries at best delivering accurate results only 72.5% of the time, and the one we’d expect to do Read More …

While Audible looks the other way, locked into Amazon’s roadmap, Poland’s Audioteka joins Storytel in Turkey, partners with Caffe Nero

Audible, like CreateSpace, began life independently of Amazon, and by the time Amazon acquired them both, these two savvy publishing ventures had carved niches that, for the longest while, Amazon was happy to leave alone. Everyone was happy. But Audible, an ambitious, globally-minded operation, soon found that its international aspirations were beholden to Amazon’s roadmap. Read More …

Dubai’s Booklava wins The Bookseller’s AudioBook Publisher of the Year Award

Unsurprisingly, audiobooks have been a hot topic at the London Book Fair, which finishes today, but it wasn’t the usual suspects, Audible and Storytel, that grabbed the headlines. The Bookseller’s Audiobook producer of the Year Award went to an audio outfit in the United Arab Emirates, which may come as a surprise to those who Read More …

Discount ebook deals mailing list BookBub finally adds audiobooks. Launches Chirp in partnership with Findaway

One of the biggest gripes about Amazon’s ACX, the self-publishing arm of Audible and very much the go to place for indie authors to distribute their audiobooks, is that Amazon calls the shots on pricing. Among the many appeals of new kid on the block Findaway is that the author has a semblance of control. Read More …

Storytel Poland: An entertainment platform, not a bookstore with a subscription option

This is a translation of an  original article by Daniel Kotliński, which can be found here. An entertainment platform, not a bookstore with a subscription option. Prospects and plans for the development of the Storytel brand. Like storytelling itself, audio has limitless possibilities. Does an application for audio materials that has been out on the Polish market Read More …

Storytel prepares Germany launch, consolidating subscription as a serious challenger to the traditional publishing model

It all seemed so implausible at the start of this decade. Ebooks had officially arrived, thanks to Amazon’s Kindle store breathing life into a format that had been around since long before. But it was just a digital extension of the status quo retail model. It was printed books on a screen, not remotely exploring digital’s Read More …

Storytel Q4 report: Subscribers up 44% Y/Y. Streaming sales up 38%. Targets 1.1 million subscribers by end 2019

We won’t know the full story for Storytel 2018 until April, but the Q4 results are out and include an overview of the year, and a clear picture is emerging of consistent and sustainable growth, driven by digital. As I’ll explore in a follow-up report on the Swedish book market, what we are seeing in Read More …

Sweden’s digital tax falls from 25% to 6% in July. What will Storytel do with its VAT windfall?

The Swedish government has finally announced its digital VAT plans, and as from July 1 digital services like ebooks, audiobooks and news will be subject to just 6% VAT, instead of the current 25%. The logical next step, one might think, would be for prices to fall in line with the VAT reduction, but as Read More …

Brazil’s Ubook prepares IPO as Amazon launches Audible Latino, suggesting Audible Spain is still some way off

Brazilian audiobook firm Ubook is preparing for an IPO in Canada that will value the company at anywhere from USD $8 – $15 million as CEO Flavio Osso looks to expand Ubook’s operations further into Europe. UPDATE: Flavio Osso points out that “The range from 8 to 15 million dollars is the the target amount Read More …

Storytel wants to reduce visibility on hot romance and erotica because they are too popular

Cupido is a Norwegian site dedicated to all things sensual, and now that includes podcasts. This month Cupido is launching what apparently translates as Cupido Handsfree – a great double-entendre if accurate. To mark the event Cupido tells us that 4,500 of Storytel’s 100,000 titles are categorized as “sensual”, referencing a report in the left-wing Norwegian Read More …

Storytel partners with airline and ups its reading game with Ztory buy out. Spotify gets into podcasts. Others discuss digital fatigue

It sometimes seems like the US book market and the rest of the world are on different planets. “Capitalizing on Book Publishing Trends in 2019” is the title of a free webinair from Book Business later this month. I did think about signing up, but when they wanted my address and telephone number as compulsory Read More …