It seems the digital players can do no wrong in Sweden and beyond, as Nextory reports 200% growth compared to Q1 2017.
That’s hard on the heels of very positive reports from Storytel –
and from Bookbeat –
In a press release (via Sweden’s Boktugg) Nextory CEO Shadi Bitar said,
We grow strongly and are ahead of our plans. With increased funding of our former owners and new owners, we can now invest in further growth in Sweden and abroad.
As previously reported here at TNPS, Amazon’s planned launch in Sweden does not appear to include books –
leaving the game wide open for domestic players.
This spring Bokus is set to enter the fray.
But whereas Storytel shares its numbers, Bookbeat and Nextory hide behind percentages, and as Sweden’s Boktug notes, we don’t know for sure, in Sweden at least, how much this is due to the three big players stealing market share from the smallest, and how much this indicates an expanding market.
Most probably it’s a mixture of both and we are at that heady exponential growth stage we’ve previously witnessed in the US and UK where it seems digital is unstoppable, only to see things settle down into a stable mixed-format marketplace.
Were Amazon to start taking the smaller European digital book markets seriously, a very different picture might emerge, but so far there seems little sign of that.
My guess is that for the remainder of this decade at least we can expect strong signs of growth not just across Scandinavia but across Europe and beyond, with Storytel leading the charge.
Storytel is looking to launch in five new countries this year, with Iceland already live and Turkey announced as next. Storytel has not confirmed the others but my guess is Bulgaria, Italy and Dubai will all have Storytel operations before this year is out.
One other note of caution as we look at the Scandinavian digital scene is that audiobooks appear to be the driving force, with ebooks coming in second, but again, the numbers we have don’t tell us the full story.