Gone are the days of faded texts, chunky edges and impossible-to-read small print: since the birth of the e-book, reading at the beach has never been easier. Storytel, the Swedish audiobook provider, promises that it can be even easier with their new app combining audio and e-book.
Audio-books may not be a novel idea, but Storytel’s new feature which allows you, the reader, to seamlessly switch between reading and listening, and remembers exactly where you left off, is entirely unique.
“Willingness to switch between reading and listening have been around a long time, but the technology has not been in place. We have managed to resolve this in an automatic way, which opens up new possibilities in the publishing industry, to the benefit of consumers who receive more reading hours in everyday life,” says CEO Jonas Tellander
Reading between the lines, its clear Tellander is pleased with his firm’s innovation:
“Many of our customers have been with us since the founding of Storytel almost 10 years ago; at which point, we were the first to move into mobile reading. Now that we are the world’s leading audio-book provider, we aim to take the next step and make reading even easier by offering e-books, “
The firm, which currently has over 100,000 subscribers in the Swedish market, hopes that this solution will both encourage reading and enhance the appeal of the digital book. A recent study shows that we read a whopping 75% more when we are able to listen to our books. Audio-books allow the joy of reading to be combined with a multitude of different activities: 53% of listeners liven up the chore of cleaning by listening to a novel, while 49% listen as they cook. Several use the audiobook to pass time while traveling with 47% of Storytels users listening during long commutes. 45% follow the plot as they walk, 26% engage in strenuous exercise as they listen and the more mellow 17% listen while they knit.
Founded in 2005, known then as Bokilur, in Lund by current CEO Jonas Tellander and lead developer Jon Hauksson, Storytel is a digital subscription service that streams audio books to your mobile phone, think the Spotify of reading. By downloading the app to your phone (iPhone or Android) and paying a subscription of 169 SEK/month (€18), you are granted access to all the books you can read, streamed to you in MP3 format.
Storytel has agreements with almost every publisher in Sweden and is thus able to offer the majority of the published titles you would find in a bookstore. At present, there are thousands of titles on Storytel, in both English and Swedish, with more being added to the (virtual) shelves each month.
Correction – the subscription price was previously listed incorrectly. It has now been fixed
This article is in collaboration with Øresund Startups, originally by Emily Christiansen. Øresund Startups is a news site focusing on startups in Copenhagen and the other cities around the Øresund strait; Malmö, Helsingborg and Lund. It was initiated by Karsten Deppert and covers news about startups and events from the startup scene. You can follow them at @Oresundstartups.