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 reported on back in December.
Storytel Italy offers unlimited audiobook consumption for just 9.99 euros per month, and marks the first time Storytel has gone head-to-head with Amazon’s Audible, the company so far having been careful to avoid Audible’s footprint.
Later this year Audible India is due to launch, but there Storytel will have had a full year’s head start.
Said Stefan Tegenfalk, Head of Expansion at Storytel,
The Italian audio-book market hasn’t been fully developed yet, but the subscription model is well-established thanks to film and music services, which is why we judge this to be a promising market for audio books. At the moment we’re offering an Italian-language catalogue of just over 1,300 audio books, as well as tens of thousands of titles in English from leading publishers. We’ll also be releasing about twenty-five audio books each month, produced in-house in our own studios in Milan, as well as in other studios.
While the unlimited subscription model is likely to prove popular with Italian consumers, the bigger questions are
a) how many publishers will come on board for this model, and
b) how will Amazon react if Italian publishers engage enough to make Storytel Italy a serious competitor?