Since the end of 2018, the Swedish company Storytel, specialized in audio books, has promised to launch in at least four new markets during the year 2019. The countries concerned by these launches are Germany, Brazil, South Korea and Thailand.
Storytel versions are currently available in 16 countries: Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, India, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.
If Thailand agrees to launch audiobooks for Swedish companies by the end of the year like Brazil, Germany and South Korea, Storytel will be integrated into twenty global markets.
South Korea’s annual market size reaches 224 million euros
Please note that the Korean audio and e-book market now earns approximately US $ 250 million (EUR 224 million) annually. Therefore, since it was recently announced in a press release on May 24, 2019, Storytel has something to celebrate, and the report states that South Korea should sell its various audio books by the end of the year:
Storytel is pleased to announce its intention to launch services in South Korea by the end of 2019. Storytel is part of its efforts to provide customers with the best audio and e-book experience, the app will be available in Korean
Storytel has established a subsidiary in Seoul, South Korea, and is responsible for producing audiobooks for the Korean market. When the service comes online at the end of 2019, Storytel plans to provide thousands of original and authorized books in Korean in its global catalog, including about 270,000 audio titles and e-books. In the first year of operation, the focus will be on continuing to build a strong and competitive content library.
In addition, Korea has 48 million Internet users every day (accounting for 90% of the country’s population), and is likely to become one of the most prolific markets in Swedish publishing houses. Hootsuite We Are Social also pointed out in a recent survey that Koreans prefer to be equipped with smartphones rather than televisions (92% and 89%, respectively).
Difficult predictions in Germany and Brazil
As for Germany and Brazil, Storytel should be integrated into their market in the summer of 2019. It is hoped that this Swedish company will frustrate the mixed sales record of audiobooks in the Germanic field. In fact, according to GfK Entertainment, by the first quarter of 2019, sales of digital books (excluding school books and professional books) for the general public will decline by 7.1%.
Storytel must also share the Brazilian audiobook market with the Ubook company founded by Flavio Osso four years ago. According to the latest results reported by Reuters, Brazilian publishers publish 80% to 90% of audiobooks in the country, and have 6 million registered users and a catalog of 15,000 books. Like Storytel, Ubook has operations in multiple countries (a total of 18 countries), including Spain, Germany, and Mexico.
After Singapore and South Korea, Thailand attractions 2021
The Storytel branch in Singapore began to provide services in April 2019. To better establish its position in Asia, Storytel recently opened an office in South Korea, located in Bangkok, Thailand. The installation of these new regions will allow publishers to better coordinate their expansion in Asia.
Given the recruitment activity on LinkedIn, it is not surprising that Thailand will soon launch the first titles offered by Swedish companies by the end of this year.