Storytel sets up MENA operations with acquisition of Kitab Sawti
Storytel is acquiring Kitab Sawti, an Arabic audiobook streaming service in the Middle. The combined line-up between the two companies offers audio content production and distribution that will give global consumers access to the largest Arabic audiobook library.
With this acquisition, Storytel establishes a new geographic business region, Storytel MENA. Sebastian Bond, co-founder and current CEO of Kitab Sawti, will lead and oversee Storytel’s business in MENA, which currently consists of Storytel Arabia and Kitab Sawti operations.
Jonas Tellander, CEO and founder of Storytel said, “I am really thrilled and excited about the great opportunities that the combination of Storytel and Kitab Sawti will offer Arabic consumers, publishers and authorships. Online media consumption is booming in the Middle East, as is the confidence local consumers are showing in digital products and payment solutions. The positive trend in customer interest for audiobooks that we presently see in the region clearly indicates the potential.”
Storytel is one of the top streaming services for audiobooks and e-books in Northern Europe with over 1.2 million paying subscribers and operations in 20 markets across the globe. Kitab Sawti operates in several categories including audiobooks, entertainment, edutainment, audio content production and podcasts.
Kitab Sawti’s Bond added, “I am confident that Storytel, with its technical capabilities, entrepreneurial spirit and multi-market experience, will be an excellent owner and develop the business further. I am also eager to experience the potential that will be unleashed as we continue to fuel the passion of the consumers and the unique qualities of the Arabic authorships, publishers and cultural life.”
The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price which will be paid partly in cash and partly through the issuance of shares in Storytel. The acquisition is expected to complete in July 2020.