Mediavision: 120 000 additional subscribing households on Swedish audiobook market


13 December 2021

The Swedish audiobook market has seen strong subscriber growth in 2021, with more than 100 000 additional subscribing households. This is concluded in the latest analysis of the Swedish audio market by Mediavision. Regardless, the share of subscribers prone to discontinue their subscriptions – commonly referred to as churn in the industry – is bigger than for e.g., video streaming services. Price is an important driver to churn, and exclusive content offerings have become an important retention tool.  

During 2021 (until Q3 2021), approximately 120 000 additional households in Sweden have signed up for a subscription to an audiobook service – 14% increase since the beginning of the year. Storytel, the market leader, shows stable household penetration while several of its competitors have seen growth.

Further, Mediavision recognises that customers’ reasons for subscribing have shifted throughout the year. Previously, price was the predominant deciding factor, whereas now customers have increased the focus on differences in content offerings among the services. Going forward, this could lead to a less volatile audiobook market, where churn levels may decrease. Today, churn for audiobook services is nearly double compared to streaming services for video and music. Unique, or exclusive, content plays a significant role in this context.

– For a long time, we have seen a stable number of subscribing households on the Swedish audiobook market. However, in 2021, the market has grown significantly. Mediavision’s conclusion is that growth has been spurred by a general increasing digitalization, in addition to greater differentiation in content offerings. Possibly, the pandemic has played its part too. Combined, these factors have resulted in an increased inflow of customers, comments Marie Nilsson, CEO of Mediavision. Development for other media types, where content offerings generally have differed more between actors, bare witness to the fact that a strong content slate may decrease churn – which remains high for the audiobook services.