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Storytel’s streaming revenue and subscriber growth in line with forecast for Q1 2021

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Storytel had an average of 1,540,600 paying subscribers in the first quarter of 2021, which is an increase of 98,600 customers compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, and in line with the forecast of 1,542,000 paying subscribers that was previously estimated. The annual subscriber growth in the first quarter of 2021 was 385,800 customers compared to the first quarter of 2020. Streaming revenues for the first quarter of 2021 came in at 517 MSEK, compared to the forecasted 514 MSEK.

The average number of paying Storytel subscribers in the Nordic segment in the first quarter of 2021 was 957,500, which corresponds to 3,500 paying subscribers above forecast and a customer base increase of 171,700 subscribers compared to the first quarter of 2020. Streaming revenues in the Nordics came in at 402 MSEK, which was 3 MSEK above forecast. The ARPU for the Nordic segment came in at 140 SEK, which was above the forecasted 139 SEK. 

In the Non-Nordic segment, the average number of subscribers grew by 58 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2020 and totalled 583,100, which corresponds to an annual growth of 214,100 paying subscribers and an increase of 67,100 customers compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. This was below the previously communicated forecast of 588,000 subscribers for the first quarter of 2021. Streaming revenues for the Non-Nordic segment totalled 115 MSEK, corresponding to an annual growth of 45 per cent and in line with forecast. The reason that paybase falls slightly short of target is mainly referable to a longer and ongoing trial campaign in Mexico which is estimated to convert in the second quarter of 2021. The ARPU for the Non-Nordic segment came in at 66 SEK, slightly above forecast for the first quarter of 2021.

“Storytel’s strong positive revenue development with high-level ARPU, and our continued strong customer intake, certainly reinforced our momentum of global growth during the quarter. This was further accentuated in several strategic key investments as Storytel concluded the first quarter by acquiring a majority stake in one of Sweden’s most successful publishing houses, Lind & Co, launching of our service in Israel, and introducing of the world’s biggest cohesive audiobook library in Arabic to consumers in the MENA region”, says Jonas Tellander, founder and CEO of Storytel.

Table 1: Key performance indicators for Streaming 

Currency: SEK 000’s Q1 2020 Q2 2020 Q3 2020 Q4 2020 Q1 2021 Q1 2021
Streaming Total        Actual     Forecast1
Revenue 429,251 459,115 490,234 503,449 517,075 514,000
Contribution Profit2, 92,611 100,493 113,663 107,074
Contribution Margin 21.6% 21.9% 23.2% 21.3%
Avg. Paying Subscribers3 1,154,800 1,257,000 1,360,300 1,442,000 1,540,600 1,542,000
ARPU4 (SEK/Month) 124 122 120 116 112 111
Streaming Nordics5
Revenue 349,768 366,322 394,453 399,639 401,834 399,000
Contribution Profit2, 113,476 107,176 125,534 134,166
Contribution Margin 32.4% 29.3% 31.8% 33.6%
Avg. Paying Subscribers3 785,800 833,300 902,000 926,000 957,500 954,000
ARPU4 (SEK/Month) 148 147 146 144 140 139
Streaming Non-Nordics
Revenue 79,484 92,793 95,781 103,810 115,240 115,000
Contribution Profit2, -20,866 -6,684 -11,872 -27,092
Contribution Margin -26.3% -7.2% -12.4% -26.1%
Avg. Paying Subscribers3 369,000 423,700 458,300 516,000 583,100 588,000
ARPU4 (SEK/Month) 72 73 70 67 66 65

1 Forecast means an approximation based on information available at the time the report was prepared.

2 Contribution Profit is defined as streaming revenue minus content cost to third-party publishers and rights holders, external production costs, transaction/payment costs and marketing costs. Storytel Reader and Ztory are not included in Streaming. 

3 Avg. Paying Subscribers means the average number of paying Storytel subscribers during the quarter. Stand-alone customers from Ztory are not included. For Family subscriptions, each standard stream (not so-called Kids Mode) is considered one paying customer. 

4 ARPU = Average Revenue Per User (Subscriber) per month. 

5 Storytel Norway is included in the figures @ 100%. In the consolidated accounts, Norway is reported in accordance with the principle of proportional consolidation. 

FNCA Sweden AB is the company’s certified adviser. FNCA can be reached at info@fnca.se or +46 8 528 00 399.

This information is such that Storytel AB (publ) is obliged to disclose in accordance with the EU Market Abuse Regulation (EU nr 596/2014). The information was provided, through the agency of the below contact person, at the time stated in this press release, by Cision.

For further information, please contact:

Sofie Zettergren, Chief Financial Officer, Storytel AB
Tel: +46 70 509 98 08

Dan Panas, Head of Global Communications & PR, Storytel AB
Tel: +46 70 186 52 90

About Storytel

Storytel is one of the world’s largest subscribed audiobook and e-book streaming services and offers listening and reading of more than 500 000 titles on a global scale. Our vision is to make the world a more empathetic and creative place with great stories to be shared and enjoyed by anyone, anywhere and anytime. Storytel’s streaming business is conducted under the brands Storytel and Mofibo. Storytel’s publishing business area is carried out through the audiobook publisher StorySide and acclaimed Nordic publishing houses such as Norstedts, People’s and Gummerus. Storytel operates in over 20 markets around the globe and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.


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