Audio books: a new but growing segment

The audiobook is still new, we know less about listening to audiobooks than reading. Storytel offers audiobooks in around 20 different languages in 15 different countries. Here’s more on this growing segment of publishing.


Helena Gustafsson, Head of International Publishing, Storytel, has twenty years experience from the book industry, whereas thirteen years devoted to audio book publishing. Helena now heads Storytel’s international audio publishing division which also includes audio production and development of original content. Her team publish more than 5000 audio books per year in currently seventeen different languages. Helena’s functions at Storytel also include a role in the Storytel Global Expansion team.

Here, she shares more about audiobooks and Storytel:

Q: Tell us about the global expansion of Storytel?

Helena: Storytel has steadily grown in last few years, expanding to newer countries, and has already announced that it will expand to some new geographies in 2019. The growth will be depending on opportunities available. Storytel is a glocal company, in each country were we enter we have a local team, we believe this is a must to succeed with content in any market.

Q: Which all countries and languages you cater to?

Helena: We are today present in 15 different countries and publish audiobooks in around 20 different languages.

Q: Who are your subscribers/ your target audience?

Helena: It could be different for each market, but in general, female, educated, living in a bigger city are the target audience.

Q: What kind of books, genres are more popular?

Helena: On a global level, fiction is the most popular genre and within that genre, it is crime, suspense and romance audiobooks that perform the best. In India, personal development and Classics are also popular based on what people are listening to.

Q: Are these original books in the languages or translated ones? Please share details.

Helena: We publish audiobooks both in original languages and translated ones, it all depends on what is popular in each market. Q: What are the global targets for Storytel in the near future and five years from now?

Helena: The target is to keep growing the way we do now, either by adding new markets or by growing the existing markets.

Q: Anything else you would like to add…

Helena: The audiobook is still new, we know less about listening to audiobooks than reading. The exciting thing about the digital publishing industry is that we can learn more about how, when and what people actually are reading than ever before. As a provider of digital books that gives you a responsibility to share those insights with the publishers, we help them develop and grow.

Storytel- the audiobook app service launches Kids Mode

– Bedtimes stories are no more a struggle for parents

World’s first audiobook app streaming service Storytelhas announced a Kids Mode in their app service. As a strong entrant into the audiobooks space, with a premium content library spanning 5 languages across 16 categories, Storytel is upping its ante by now having a parental control on their application. The app hosts 70,000+ audiobooks and ebooks across a varied categories such as romance, thriller, spirituality, horror, drama, adventure, etc.

The book titles on storytel are meant for all age groups. However, with the child filter, children get access to only that content which is specifically meant for their age group. Kids Mode, is a filter which allows parents to let their children go exploring in the app, and find their own favorites. The app hosts thousands of stories and bestsellers in the children categories. Children’s category is rich with fantasy, adventures, comics, classics, to some great books for learning across languages such as Hindi, English and Marathi.Be it J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Roald Dahl’s books, Adventures of Stoob to Peppa Pig the collection has books for all age groups — starting from stories for infants.

Moreover, besides the acquired collection, Storytel also has original series e.g. Chhoti Durga, Phas Gayi Kinoo etc which are written specifically for children.

With this move, Storytel has opened up the word of stories for children. Parents now have an educative and a novel medium where children can listen to books from their preferred genre such as comics, biographies, fiction, non-fiction, drama etc. “We are thrilled to have an exclusive child filter for our application, as it essentially allows us to do more for kids. Storytel has curated a fantastic list of books for children which are both fun and educative. With the kids mode now live, we aim at looking at larger subscription numbers to come in.” says Country Manager at Storytel India.

Pricing: The first 14 days is free for subscribers, and post which there is a subscription fee of INR 299. Under a monthly subscription, the subscriber can listen to unlimited books both, offline and online.

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