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

Now Storytel confirm in a press release that Storytel South Korea will go live before the year’s end.

That will come as no big surprise to TNPS readers as South Korea was tagged as a likely candidate back in August 2018.

As Storytel’s 2019 Asia expansion steps up with a Thailand office, TNPS speculates where next for Storytel

Storytel has offices in Bangkok, from where it coordinates its Asia expansion, so a Storytel Thailand launch was always on the cards, and references on LinkedIn and rumblings on the SE Asia publishing grapevine all send clear signals that we’ll also see a Storytel Thailand launch this year.

Noting the notes the South Korea audio and ebook market is already worth US$250 million, the press release says,

Storytel is pleased to announce its plans to launch its service in South Korea in late 2019. As part of Storytel’s efforts to provide customers with the finest audio and e-book experiences, the app will be available in Korean.

Storytel has already established an affiliate in the capital of Seoul, and is busy producing audio books for the South Korean market. When the service goes live at the end of 2019, Storytel plans to have thousands of original and licensed titles on offer in Korean –– in addition to its market-leading global catalogue of approximately 270,000 audio and e-book titles. During the first year of operation the main focus will be to continue building a strong content library with high competitiveness.

With 48 million people online (95% internet penetration) South Korea is a significant market for Storytel to be targeting. More South Koreans have smartphones than have television, according to the latest Hootsuite We Are Social study

Storytel is currently in sixteen markets – Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, India, Italy. Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the UAE.

If Brazil, Germany, South Korea and Thailand launches run to plan we’ll see Storytel in twenty markets by the end of this year, and all the indications are we’ll see further launches across Asia and Latin America in 2020.

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