Boktugg’s essential list of 2019 Scandinavian book fairs

Regulars here at TNPS will know the value we attach to the global book fair scene, and that contrary to the impression given by many western publishing industry platforms, there are significant book fairs, book festivals and other literary events happening pretty much every day of the year somewhere around the world. I’m asked time Read More …

Audiobook revenue doubled in Finland in 2018

While the end of year results are not yet known, audiobook revenues doubled in Finland up until September 2018, standing at 2.5 million euros ($2.8 million) and accounting for 3% of total book sales. Market leader Bookbeat, part of Sweden’s Bonnier, as reported here recently had 150,000 subscribers at end 2019, and Finland’s M&M says 70,000 Read More …

Sweden’s Storytel beats forecast for both subscribers and revenue. 55% of subscribers and 52% of streaming revenue now international

Storytel issued a press release today to say it had beaten its forecast for both subscribers and revenue in Q4, with an average 768,700 paying subscribers across its fifteen markets, up almost 48,000 on Q3. Streaming revenue just beat the forecast, coming in at SEK 291.3 million ($32 million) for Q4, of which SEK 140 Read More …

Sweden’s Bookbeat grew 163% to 150,000 in 2018. Targets 250,000 subscribers by end 2019

Swedish streaming service Bookbeat may have put the UK on hold, but it’s still battling for market share in Finland, Germany and homeland Sweden, with Finland performing well. In an interview with Sweden’s Boktugg, Bookbeat CEO Niclas Sandin intimated he expected more growth from Germany in 2019 and that together Germany and Finland might exceed Read More …

As Norway bucks the Scandinavian trend, preferring print bought offline, TNPS asks: Do the smaller book markets really have anything to fear from Amazon?

A new report, Art in Numbers, from the Norwegian Cultural Council observes 88% of fiction and 75% of non-fiction is consumed in print via Norway’s high street stores, in stark contrast to neighbouring Sweden where streamed audiobooks and ebooks are the trend. Trine Stensen, CEO of the Norwegian Bookstores Association, explained, That the physical bookstore Read More …

In the fight against Storytel, Denmark’s JP/Politikens Hus acquires Danish online bookshop Saxo.com

The acquisition, subject to regulatory authority approval, of Denmark’s largest online bookstore Saxo by minority stake-holder JP/Politikens Hus has repercussions beyond the Danish border. If the translation is accurate, Saxo’s Jørgen Balle Olesen said in a press release, I hand over the keys to JP / Politikens Hus with a mixture of pride and vodka. Fortunately, Read More …

After the Scribd-NYT subscription deal, Sweden’s Bookbeat ties a bundled deal with Dagens Nyheter. But are Storytel’s rivals up to the challenges ahead?

If the Scribd-New York Times subscription bundle made the headlines in the Anglophone world, it is Bookbeat’s deal with Dagen Nyheter that is the big news in Scandinavia. Bookbeat, second player to Storytel in the Nordic audiobook and ebook subscription stakes, has signed a deal with the Swedish digital news service (Dagens Nyheter = Today’s Read More …

Denmark’s publishers perform u-turn on digital libraries as Storytel and co. show consumers want ebooks and audio

Denmark’s digital library service Ereolen has seen the number of ebook titles in its catalogue soar from 18,000 in September 2017 to 29,000 in September 2018. The 65% boost is due to Denmark’s biggest publishers embracing the option rather than lose ground to audiobook and ebook subscription services like Storytel. Denmark’s largest publisher, Gyldendal, returned Read More …

Axiell Media cries foul on OverDrive’s Sweden deal, claiming OverDrive has no agreements with Sweden’s biggest publishers

October was supposed to mark the start of OverDrive’s supply of digital content to Sweden’s public libraries after Overdrive beat domestic front-runner Axial in a lowest-priced bidding war. From TNPS in June: OverDrive wins 4 year contract to supply ebooks to Sweden’s libraries Axiell bought out former market leader Elib in 2015 and seemed in Read More …

Finnish President sits on steps at Turku Book Fair as auditorium was full

Only in Finland could the country’s President turn up to a book fair discussion on equality, find there were no seats, so sit himself down on the steps to enjoy the show. It happened this weekend at the Turku Book Fair in southwest Finland when first President Sauli Niinistö was spotted buying books. No, no Read More …

Storytel sees 42.3% revenue growth in Q3. Adds 100,000 new subscribers. Over half of all revenue now comes from international sites

First, the numbers. Despite adding 100,000 subscribers, Storytel missed its 725,000 target for Q3, averaging just 720,900. But streaming revenue exceeded expectations, coming in at SEK 280 million ($30.8 million), against a forecast of 275.5 million. International subscriptions rose by 78,200 to a total of 384,700 but there is no breakdown offered on which countries Read More …

Bonnier’s BookBeat reports 97% growth against fierce competition from Storytel. German investment next. UK still on the backburner

While US and UK publishers watch the Scandinavian experiment from a safe distance, a mixture of envy and fear in their eyes, Sweden’s BookBeat goes from strength to strength, leaving no doubt that, whatever publishers may feel about the subscription model, consumers love it. Bookbeat’s June, July and August revenue grew 97% compared to 2017, Read More …

Amazon Sweden: Data centres more likely than warehouses. Either way it’s not books

Well, we still don’t have anything official from Amazon to say one way or another, but we do know Amazon is in Sweden preparing something. And Sweden’s Breakit this week decided to take a close look at exactly what it is Amazon is up to in the land of Storytel. As reported here at TNPS Read More …

The Week In Review

Here’s a summary of TNPS posts from the past seven days. Sao Paulo’s Avenida Paulista bookstore closes – Fnac Brazil now has just one bookstore standing Setswana? Indonesian? Can you tell the difference? Nor can Microsoft A mermaid wearing a bra among the books banned in Kuwait, but protests are gathering momentum Big Bad Wolf Read More …

Four in ten books sold in Sweden are through a subscription service. But might both print and ebooks be the casualties of the great Scandinavian experiment?

Forty percent of books sold in Sweden are through a subscription service. Total book sales revenue in Sweden increased by 6.2% last year but, perhaps unsurprisingly given the rise and rise of the subscription model in Scandinavia, digital is leading the charge. And traditional bookselling outlets are getting hammered. While there are many upsides to Read More …

Storytel’s Jonas Tellander responds to the Swedish audiobook royalties storm

Svensk Bokhandel, the Swedish publishing industry journal that broke the story about Storytel’s two tier royalties – one level for Bonnier, another for everyone else – carries a response from Storytel CEO Jonas Tellander today. I want to be transparent and answer any questions I can answer. The last thing I want to be is Read More …

Storytel raise half billion kroner for Latin America and Asia expansion

While Storytel has been having a rough time in the Swedish publishing media over its variable royalty arrangements, the Stockholm stock exchange has (albeit without much enthusiasm – see below) agreed to a quest to raise an additional half billion kroner ($55.8 million). Sweden’s Digital runs this story with the headline, Storytel takes in a Read More …

Storytel’s royalty model “rigged and manipulated.” Storm brews over Storytel’s privileged agreement with Bonnier

With Storytel under increasing pressure from rival operators in the Swedish audiobook arena two things were inevitable. First, Storytel’s market share would fall. And consequent on that Storytel would need to review its royalty arrangements for its content suppliers – in this case established publishers, as Storytel does not deal direct with authors as per Read More …

Sweden-based Arabic-language audiobook firm Kitab Sawti attracts new investment

We’re just a few weeks shy of the first anniversary of The New Publishing Standard, and if I had to identify one regret at how things have progressed this past eleven months it would be that I’ve not had the time to pursue and develop the many smaller and quirkier international publishing stories that have Read More …

The Week In Review

Here’s a summary of TNPS posts from the past seven days. Big Bad Wolf shows the world’s demand for English-language titles, taking 2 million books to Taiwan this week Brazil’s São Paulo Biennial disappointed with fewer visitors (“only” 663,000) but they spent 33% more Amazon to open a Customer Service Centre in Colombia in October, Read More …