Storytel buys Audiobooks.com; Spotify moves into US market
Stockholm-based audiobook streaming company Storytel is buying Audiobooks.com from RBmedia for an undisclosed amount, reports Publishers Weekly.
The acquisition is Storytel’s first entry into the English-language market. The company, which operates in 25 countries, is the dominant audiobook streaming service in Nordic countries, which account for one million of its 1.7 million subscribers.
Audiobooks.com started in 2011 and was acquired by RBmedia in 2017. It currently offers around 300,000 audiobooks and millions of podcasts.
‘I have been impressed by Audiobooks.com’s success, expertise and experience in the U.S. market, as well as across the UK and Australia,’ said Storytel CEO and founder Jonas Tellander. ‘Audiobooks.com is a growing profitable business with a consumer and partnership friendly approach that offers Storytel a new platform for growth. I am now looking forward to working with our teams, publishers and partners to make audiobook listening as popular on the English-speaking markets as it has become in recent years in the Nordics.’
Audiobooks.com general manager Ian Small will continue to oversee the company.
The news came a day after Swedish audio streaming service Spotify announced an agreement to acquire US-based digital audiobook distributor Findaway.
Best known for its music service, Spotify recently expanded into podcasting as it looks to diversify its business. According to the company, it has 381 million monthly active users and 172 million premium subscribers.
Findaway, which was founded in 2005, has a catalogue of 325,000 titles and distributes to most major audiobook retailers, as well as operating its own self-publishing business, FindawayVoices, and audiobook publishing unit, OrangeSky Audio. The acquisition is seen as a way for Spotify to accelerate ‘its entry into the audiobook industry by using Findaway’s technology to scale its audiobook catalogue’.
‘It is Spotify’s ambition to be the destination for all things audio both for listeners and creators,’ said Spotify chief research and development officer Gustav Söderström. ‘We’re excited to combine Findaway’s team, best in class technology platform, and robust audiobook catalogue, with Spotify’s expertise to revolutionise the audiobook space as we did with music and podcasts.’
Findaway founder and CEO Mitch Kroll will continue to oversee the business from its Ohio headquarters.
Category: International news