Storytel exceeds the forecast for Q4 2019 – passes the milestone 1,100,000 subscribers

Storytel had 1,083,400 paying subscribers on average in Q4 2019. This corresponds to an increase of 69,000 subscribers compared to Q3 2019 and an annual subscriber growth of 41%. Storytel therefore surpasses the forecast of 1,079,000 subscribers for the period. Streaming revenue for Q4 landed at 421 MSEK, compared to the forecast of 417 MSEK, which corresponds to a revenue increase of 45% compared to Q4 2018. On Christmas Day, Storytel also passed another milestone and ended 2019 with a subscriber base of more than 1,100,000 paying customers, which was the target for the year.  

“Storytel’s strong customer intake continues in both our Nordic and our global operations, which together are showing annual growth of more than 40% in Q4. This naturally contributes to our positive revenue development with a retained high-level ARPU, says Jonas Tellander, founder and CEO of Storytel.

The average figure for the total number of Storytel subscribers in Q4 2019 landed at 1,083,400, which corresponds to an increase of 314,700 customers compared to Q4 2018 and annual subscriber growth of 41%.

In the Nordic region, the total number of paying customers in Q4 2019 was 757,600, which exceeds the forecast of 756,000 subscribers and is an increase of 141,300 subscribers compared to the same quarter in 2018.

In the Non-Nordic segment the total number of paying customers was 325,800, exceeding the forecast of 323,000 subscribers and corresponding to an annual growth of 173,400 subscribers compared to Q4 2018, which is an increase of 114%. Streaming revenue in the Nordic region was 352 MSEK in Q4 2019, compared to a forecast of 349 MSEK and 340 MSEK in Q3 2019. In the Non-Nordic segment streaming revenue was 69 MSEK compared to a forecast of 68 MSEK and a revenue of 59 MSEK in Q3 2019. The increase in revenue is primarily due to strong subscriber growth in conjunction with the winter holidays, and a retained high-level ARPU.

“The end of the 2010s truly is a fantastic manifestation of the power that has been set free when stories are made available wherever you are and when you need them the most. It is also a wonderful confirmation of the viability of Storytel’s pioneering vision and our first 15 years as leaders within streamed audiobook experiences”, says Jonas Tellander.

Table 1: Key performance indicators for Streaming

Currency: SEK 000’s        Q4 2018        Q1 2019        Q2 2019         Q3 2019        Q4 2019        Q4 2019
Streaming Total  Actual Forecast1
Revenue 291,315 295,994 320,034 399,178 421,454 417,000
Contribution Profit2 30,444 31,372 29,407 53,043
Contribution Margin 10.5% 10.6% 9.2% 13.3%
Avg. Paying Subscribers 768,700 834,300 887,500 1,014,400 1,083,400 1,079,000
ARPU3 (SEK/Month) 126 118 120 131 130 129
Streaming Nordics4
Revenue 259,256 258,288 276,347 340,315 352,222 349,000
Contribution Profit2 82,645 75,329 70,443 109,563
Contribution Margin 31.9% 29.2% 25.5% 32.2%
Avg. Paying Subscribers 616,300 645,500 669,200 736,000 757,600 756,000
ARPU3 (SEK/Month) 140 133 138 154 155 154
Streaming Non-Nordics
Revenue 32,059 37,706 43,687 58,863 69,233 68,000
Contribution Profit2 -52,200 -43,957 -41,036 -56,521
Contribution Margin -162.8% -116.6% -93.9% -96.0%
Avg. Paying Subscribers 152,400 188,800 218,300 278,400 325,800 323,000
ARPU3 (SEK/Month) 70 67 67 70 71 70

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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 royalties to third-party publishers and rights holders, in-house production costs, transaction costs and marketing costs. Storytel Reader and Ztory is not included in Streaming.

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

4 Storytel Norway is included in the figures @ 100%. In the consolidated group 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.

For more information, please contact:

Jonas Tellander, CEO: +46 70 261 61 36

Sofie Zettergren, CFO: +46 70 509 98 08

Dan Panas, Head of Communications: +46 70 186 52 90

This information constitutes inside information in accordance with the EU Market Abuse Regulation 596/2014 and is such information that Storytel AB (publ) is required to disclose. The information was provided by the above contact person at the time stated in this press release by the Company’s news distributor Cision.