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The Sound of Subscriptions Succeeding: Storytel Original Is Coming in Sweden

4 June 2016

From Publishing Perspectives:

With the purchase of Denmark’s Mofibo, the Swedish ebook and audiobook subscription service Storytel has added at least 50,000 members to its base of approximately 220,000 subscribers.

Storytel CEO Jonas Tellander tells Publishing Perspectives that for now the only concrete plan for a change in Mofibo’s territory is a shutdown of its presence in The Netherlands. Mofibo had launched there only recently, having concentrated previously in Denmark and Sweden. Both services are to continue operations in Denmark and Sweden for now, Tellander tells us, so that the newly merged company can analyze its potential and make plans.

. . . .

A splash page at the Storytel site, however, may tip us off to a lot of ambition. The site asks visitors to “Choose your country” and offers 28 nations. Clicking on any one of six of those countries—Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Finland, and Poland—takes you to a Storytel site in the relevant language. The rest offer a chance to submit your email address for “when we get to your country.”

Tellander points out that before launching in a new country, there’s a lot of work required to establish a local presence and learn the local market, most importantly to secure a viable amount of content for a given nation’s subscribers.

. . . .

Storytel was originally an audiobook-only service. Mofibo, when it launched in 2013, offered ebooks on an all-you-can-read basis. Today, subscribers of both services can read ebooks and listen to audiobooks as they please.

. . . .

As Hull has been stressing in guest editorials and conference appearances for a couple of years now, subscription services for literature seem at this point to work better outside the United States market.

Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives and thanks to Jan for the tip.

Non-US, Subscription

4 Comments to “The Sound of Subscriptions Succeeding: Storytel Original Is Coming in Sweden”

  1. Suburbanbanshee

    That’s because a lot of non-US countries forbid the discounting of books (and audiobooks, I think). They also keep cutting public libraries and making libraries pay weird royalties.

    So of course subscription library businesses start to look good, to non-US consumers. Even if they don’t get ownership, they get to feed their need.

  2. Suburbanbanshee

    The idea that streaming is superior to downloading is definitely non-US, though. Most of us in the US have sucky Internet even at home, and away from home it is either ridiculously expensive, throttled, or unavailable. I hardly ever use my library’s streaming Hoopla app, because my Internet connection is always dropping.

  3. But they tell us subscriptions are bad! Just look at all the stories of how bad it is that people are using Amazon’s subscription services …

  4. Audio books are a way more viable subscription model than ebooks, because there is no way a subscriber can get through more than a handful of books in a week.

    Storytel don’t even realize how brilliant their concept is since they operate in a non-Amazon zone where no one has heard of KU or Oyster. In Scandinavia subscription = audio.

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