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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Storytel launches in Bulgaria – 15th market. Storytel international site links drops from 30 to 17 countries

The official press release doesn’t tell us much, but Storytel Bulgaria is now officially Storytel’s 15th market, fifteen months after Storytel acquired the Bulgarian audiobook firm D&D Factory. No numbers for Bulgarian content, but what there is will be available alongside Storytel’s 50,000 English-language titles. UPDATE: Storytel Bulgaria launches with 300 titles in Bulgarian. Stefan Read More …

As Storytel Q3 results show 730,000 subscribers, with streaming revenue up 43% Y/Y, fourth place rival Bokus Play plays the discount game to stay relevant

It was never going to be easy for new kid on the Scandinavian audiobook block, Bokus Play. Storytel is far and away the strongest player, both at home and abroad, with BookBeat and Nextory so comfortably in second  and third place it seemed like there was no room for a fourth player. Even one with 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 …

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’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 …

Storytel reports strong growth. Beats Q2 expectations

With 621,000 subscribers in Q2 2018, up nearly 200,000 on the same period 2017, Storytel’s CEO Jonas Tellander is reporting another quarter of strong growth. In a press release Storytel announced, Streaming revenues for the period totaled circa 239 MSEK ($27.3 million), which corresponds to 43% in annual revenue growth, slightly more than three million Read More …

Storytel launches in Italy

Storytel today goes live in its thirteenth market, as Italy joins hands with Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, India, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey. Launches in Bulgaria and Mexico planned for later this year. Regulars here at TNPS will not be surprised by the Italy launch, which I first Read More …