Kitab Sawti, the Arabic audiobook and podcasts platform has been acquired by a Swedish audiobook and ebook streaming services company Storytel. The purchase price remains undisclosed.
Kitab Sawti is one of the leading producers and audiobook streaming services for Arabic content. It operates a network of studios across the Arabic region and has a network of over 100 narrators. Sebastian Bond and Anton Pollak founded Kitab Sawti in 2016. The company has rapidly become a respected and popular advocate for quality audiobooks and cultural experiences in the Arabic speaking world, and thus a strong competitor to Storytel Arabia, which was launched in 2017.
“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 big potential,” says Jonas Tellander, CEO and founder of Storytel.
Storytel operates in Northern Europe and has over 1.2 million paying subscribers and operations on 20 markets. Storytel also disposes over a vast library of more than 500,000 audiobook and e-book titles on a global scale.
Kitab Sawti achieved an annual sales growth of 79% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year. The company disposes over a strong catalog of 2,500+ audiobook titles covering more than 80% of the regional best-sellers including works like The Bamboo Stalk by Saud Al Sanousi, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. The combined audiobook catalogs of Storytel Arabia and Kitab Sawti will offer 5,000+ audiobooks in Arabic – the biggest and richest Arabic audiobook library in the world.
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 today consists of the Storytel Arabia and Kitab Sawti operations.
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