While we wait for the autonomous vehicle revolution to come, many of us still find ourselves camping out in traffic, blasting the same old tunes from the car radio. This, accompanied by the never-ending bombardment of commercials, has turned audiences worldwide to the entertaining and educational practice of listening to audiobooks to past the dead time.
Today (Tuesday), Swedish company Storytel, which operates a streaming service for audiobooks and digital books, announced that it has acquired Israeli iCast, a company that has spent the last decade accumulating a vast amount audiobooks in Hebrew.
So, what’s Storytel’s story?
Swedish Storytel was founded in 2005 as a platform for streaming and reading audio and digital books. The company holds a paying base of 1.257 million active users, and the company turns tens of millions of dollars in revenue each quarter. The Swedish ebook platform is operational in 20 different markets worldwide, providing readers with over 500,000 book titles. Furthermore, the company has seen a spike in users following the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced people to find new routes for education and entertainment. As part of the purchase of the Israeli audiobook library company, Storytel will launch it’s Hebrew based content towards Q1 of 2021.
iCast was founded in 2006 as a podcast service. Then in 2010, the company began expanding into the audiobook market, where it has flourished, comprising a library of over 2,500 audiobooks to date. The library includes vast storage of Israeli authors as well as authors from around the world, and offers a variety of consumer packages and partnerships with local Israeli libraries. According to iCast, the company became profitable 3 years ago.
CEO and founder of iCast, Moti Lippmann will operate as Storytel’s Regional Director in Israel: “Storytel’s unique international experience and technological capabilities will provide further momentum for the Israeli market regarding user experience, content creation, production, and marketing, which will make audiobooks more accessible and relevant to a larger consumer base. This is going to be an exciting journey, and we can’t wait for it to begin.”
The details of the acquisition have yet to be made public knowledge, but Storytel reveals that the deal shouldn’t affect the company’s financial flow, as payment for iCast will mostly be in cash and Storytel stock.