Barely had the cyber-ink dried on the news that Sweden-based Storytel had acquired Arabic-language audiobook subscription service Kitab Sawti than another press release is out, announcing Storytel has taken an 80% stake in audiobook production company Earselect.

This just a week after Storytel announced it had acquired the Icelandic publishing house Forlagið.

The Storytel press release explains,

Northern Europe’s leading audiobook and e-book streaming service, is acquiring an 80 percent majority interest in Earselect AB, a Nordic production company offering a dynamic, flexible and scalable cloud based platform specialised in remote audiobook production.

With Storytel AB as new majority owner, Earselect’s efficient technology for both traditional production and a remote workflow, will support Storytel’s production line, and also continue to provide high quality and cost-efficient productions to external publishers with full business integrity as previously.

Earselect is a relative newcomer to the Nordic audiobook scene, founded only in 2017, but founder and CEO Rickard Källqwist has been active in the arena since 2005 and brings to the table expertise as well as a brand that, in the words of the press release,

is a household name in the Swedish and Norwegian audiobook industry with many larger publishers among its clients and over 40 production units allocated within the Swedish and Norwegian markets.

Addressing the buyout, which will close August 19, Källqwist said:

I am confident that we have found a perfect owner for Earselect. Storytel’s strength, scale and capability to continuously challenge, sharpen and develop the platform will secure and amplify our position at the forefront of audiobook production.

For Storytel, the company’s Head of Global Production, Robert Holmström, said:

I’m excited and happy to welcome Earselect to our Storytel Production group. With our combined skills, tech-capabilities and excellent staff, we are set to take the next step, adding both new qualities and even higher effectiveness to Storytel’s dedicated audiobook production operations, to meet the accelerating global demand for audiobooks. This will surely benefit Earselect, Storytel, all publishers and – most of all – the audiobook listeners.

Every year Storytel produces tens of thousands of audiobook hours for 20 markets in a wide range of genres and 25+ languages. Earselect’s unique capabilities and cutting edge technology will give us even more scale, speed and cost-efficiency, as well as smoother production processes, which will match the increasing global interest in quality audiobooks, Storytel’s aggressive expansion strategy and our trajectory to profitable growth.

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