Stories have always been told. But as technology and society evolve, the way we tell them is changing. An ongoing trend that has already left a clear mark on Bonnier’s business is audio storytelling. Three examples are Acast, BookBeat and DN Story.
Podcasts have grown significantly in popularity since the format caught on a few years ago. Today, 1.8 million Swedes listen to at least one podcast every week. One reason for the popularity may be that, in contrast to the short fragments that dominate social media, there is a need for longer and more in-depth stories.
Acast, one of Bonnier Ventures’ investments, is the world’s largest platform for podcasts, with over 9,500 different programs and listeners in more than 200 countries. Since the company was founded in 2014, it has brought together storytellers, listeners and advertisers and has played an important role in professionalizing the audio industry.
During 2019 Acast expanded into several new markets. The core was widened through hundreds of pods. The content venture Acast Studios was launched. The first acquisition for Acast was the pod company
Pippa, which opened up the possibility for the users to smoothly launch their own pods and share their stories.
In 2020 and moving forward, Acast will help more storytellers make podcasts that can grow from hobby projects to global successes.
Owned by Bonnier Books, BookBeat spreads stories by making books available to more people. With the BookBeat app, users can choose from thousands of novels, biographies, short stories and nonfiction books to listen to, or read, on their mobile devices.
Frequent reports tell us that reading is in decline. However, the opposite is true for the audiobook market. The will to spend both time and money on audiobooks is strong. By the end of 2019, BookBeat had more than a quarter-million paying users in a rapidly growing market, both in Sweden and internationally.
BookBeat was founded in 2015, and the following year the service was launched in Sweden. Today’s focus is to grow not only on the domestic market but also in Finland and Germany. BookBeat is available in another 25 countries around Europe, and growth is expected to remain strong in the coming years. As the way in which we take in books is changing, BookBeat aims to be industry best at analyzing the types of stories future listeners want to spend their time and money on.
Dagens Nyheter continuously presents unique stories and reports of our time, from both Sweden and the rest of the world. In 2019, a new feature in the app was launched that lets subscribers choose between reading and listening to selected stories in DN Story. The best stories are gathered in the app under the section Upptäck.
Every week, Dagens Nyheter’s editors select articles that get recorded by professional audiobook readers. The readings are released on the DN app and become available to the newspaper’s subscribers. Journalism that takes time, but is also worth the time.