But what we don’t know is how much BookBeat has left on the table by removing completely the unlimited option.

Congratulations to Niclas Sandin and all at BookBeat on hitting SEK 1 billion ($95.5 million) in accumulative subscription revenue on the BookBeat streaming platform.

The news comes as BookBeat recorded its “best quarter ever”, with a record number of new sign-ups across its markets.

In the brief post on LinkedIn, Sandin did not explore reasons, but we can safely say the shift to tiered access in December 2022, as reported by TNPS, helped.

Previously BookBeat offered the naturally very-appealing-to-many one monthly payment for unlimited access, and this certainly helped establish BookBeat as a player in the Nordics subscription market and beyond.

But not all publishers were on board with this model, and nor too were all consumers.

The reasons for publisher reservations are well-established and need not be rehearsed here.

The reason for consumer satisfaction less so, and worth addressing once more.

Put simply, the all you can eat model offers fantastic value for the active reader/listener, but not so much for the low-level or casual consumer.

By offering tiered access (three levels) BookBeat made the offering more widely appealing than the one payment option previously available. Low-level and casual consumers now had reason to reconsider and to buy into the platform.

But what we don’t know is how much BookBeat has left on the table by removing completely the unlimited option.

Storytel, under the new leadership of Johannes Larcher, has chosen to offer tiered access alongside the unlimited option, and while its too soon to know the results, and said results may never be shared publicly, my guess is Storytel will have the advantage in the long run.

But that should not detract from a remarkable achievement by Sandin and Team BookBeat per today’s announcement.

Two big questions remain:

1. Are publishers responding more positively to the tiered access models? If the tiered models are attracting more titles from publishers that previously were unwilling to participate, that could be critical to how things develop over the next few years.

But for now BookBeat has nailed its tiered-access colours to the mast, while Storytel is pursuing its best-of-both-worlds strategy.

2. Will the big international rivals follow suit? Amazon and Kobo both have unlimited subscription options alongside either credit (Audible) or a la carte (Kobo) options. Spotify has for now gone for a la carte, as have Google Play and Apple. But none of this is set in stone, and I suspect Spotify especially, with its finger on the Nordics pulse, will be watching developments very closely.

UPDATE: On LinkedIn, Niclas Sandin posted the following comment.

#digitalsubscription #digitalstreaming #Nordicsbookmarket #Nordicsaudiobookmarket #BookBeatbillion