Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Storytel buy Norstedts – Sveriges Radio

The acquisition includes Raben & amp; Sjogren and Norstedts maps. The deal is one of the largest in the book industry ever.

– Norstedts and Raben & amp; Sjögren have not given out a lot audiobooks historically, so it is a great opportunity for us to do more audio books of both the directory and news, says Jonas Tellander, CEO of Storytel, to Kulturnytt.

Norstedts is a of Sweden’s oldest publishing house. Storytel founded in 2005 and has called himself “the Spotify for books”.

A year ago bought Storytel Massolit and B Whalströms publishers.

– So we’ve been working on publishing a period and taught us a lot of stories, and it’s those customers come to us, says Jonas Tellander.

in just six years ago, he was with the television program “Draknästet” where he fought for Storytels to ensure survival through investments. When the company was valued at 10 million. Since then it has grown exponentially and was valued earlier this year to 1.4 billion.

When Kulturnytt contact Norstedts Manager Eva Gedin telling her that the transition has gone smoothly, without abrupt changes. She also explains that the lead will remain and that the Chairman of the Board, Eva Swartz Grimaldi will remain.

– Storytel have a very good picture of what we have worked with in recent years and a very respectful attitude to our business, says Eva Gedin.

Will this affect your publishing?

– no, not our issue or the focus of our publication. However as we are thinking like everyone else on how the story may change in the new formats, says Eva Gedin.

There she means is digital solutions for example discussing releases only in audio format.

Swedish Radio Cultural Affairs Mattias Hermansson describes purchase as part of Storytels strategy to “buy themselves big to be a dominant of a rapidly changing business environment.”

this is described as an upset, is it?

– Yes and no. That a context of relatively new player who Storytel buys a storied business Norstedts which was perhaps not as expected. But the overall trend which confirms’s anything but sensational, to digital players buying up traditional content activities to drive traffic, or to sell subscriptions, says Mattias Hermansson.

Storytel pay 152 million for Norstedts it is a lot or a little?

– it may sound a lot for a company that has gone bad for quite some time, although it returned to profit last year. But from a historical perspective, it is coffee money for such a heavy publishers. And a little exaggeration, one can say that it Storytel pay for all the titles Norstedts sitting on historically, and parts of the contemporary issue, not the business itself. And Storytels share price is reported to have risen steeply in the short time after the news came this morning, which is not unimportant in this context. Storytels strategy is obviously to buy up large to become dominant in a rapidly changing business environment, and the attractiveness of the stock market.

What could this be the consequences for Swedish authors, and publication of Swedish writer?

– Yes, it remains of course to see. Storytel has already said it will do more of the former Norstedts publishing, in the form of audio books. And it is interesting that there is a group that has both heavy issuance and also own the whole distribution the way to the audiobook listener.

– But while going the whole book industry through a similar restructuring, such as music and media business made – to becoming increasingly dependent on a few large sellers and where relationships between authors and publishers dissolves more and more. And the big challenge will be to manage the development right, continues Mattias Hermansson.

Svante Weyler is publishers with extensive experience including previously worked at Norstedts publishing house as manager. According to him, the purchase is interesting because it will make higher profit requirement Norstedts business.

He also says that a change of ownership also can be positive because Norstedts previous owners Cooperative Union were not so interested in the publishing industry.

– Norstedts has had the unfortunate fate to be owned by publishers and publishing groups that have not been so interested by Norstedts. Unlike its main competitors had increasingly focused on the publishing industry, he said.

What will be the challenge of running Norstedts now?

– The challenge for Storytel is to get interest on their money. And the great challenge for Norstedts is to maintain its focus as one of Sweden’s two leading public issuance publishers. It is no easy thing to get together because the required return now become larger when they are on the stock market, says Svante Weyler.


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