Romania’s leading bookstore chain Cărtureşti has announced a partnership with AudioTribe, Romania’s first audiobook platform offering audiobooks in Romanian and English, investing €450,000 one year after the company launched in the Romanian market.
The audiobook market is experiencing accelerated growth globally, with digital audiobooks narrated in Romanian only appearing in Romania in 2021 following the launch of AudioTribe.ro (originally called Echo Audiobooks) last August.
Cooperating with the leading publishers in the market, AudioTribe has sold over 25.000 audiobooks since its launch and has expanded its product portfolio to now have over 15.000 audiobooks in Romanian and English. At a time when paper and printing costs have been on an upward trend or even doubling or even tripling over the past few months, publishers see investing in audio assets as a strategic shift in the market – some produce as many as 10 audiobooks per month, with a sizeable invest.
“We are delighted to officially join a project that we have followed and supported from the very beginning. At Cărtureşti, we have been building reader experiences around the world, listening to feedback and formulating our offers based on the interests, requirements and dreams of those who visit our bookstore. We believe AudioTribe brings a much-needed development in the book market ecosystem. In our busy daily lives, the possibility of listening to a book while commuting, cooking or jogging in the park can sometimes mean the books we read in a month Doubled or even tripled the volume. It’s good for readers first, and it’s good for authors, publishers, and the book industry as a whole. The more people we can get closer to books—print or audio—the closer we get through Read the mission to change Romania,” says Saipan Radu, Co-founder Cărtureşti.
Cărtureşti investment will bring bestsellers to AudioTribe’s exclusive portfolio
AudioTribe is going to have a busy few months.
“Our focus is on acquiring and distributing premium audiobooks and making them exclusively available to our listeners through our credit-based system. We plan to double our Romanian audiobook portfolio and we will expand from 15,000 to 60,000 English audiobooks in the coming year.The investment of our strategic partner Cărtureşti proves that we are on the right path, and their support helps us to develop together the largest portfolio of audiobooks in Romanian services”, said AudioTribe co-founder Radu Nicolau.
The startup’s growth plans also include investments in new studios — four of which it owns can no longer sustain accelerated production cadences — developing chapter-by-chapter listening capabilities, and expanding its portfolio by bringing podcasts to the platform . One of the priorities will continue to enhance the user experience by developing service features.
“We’ve received a lot of feedback from the tribe, the names we give our listeners – Positive and constructive. One of the most popular features is the option to securely download audiobooks in the app and listen to them anywhere, without mobile data or mobile reception,” continues Radu Nicolau.
Audiobook Market in Romania: Top Audiobooks and Listener Profile
Personal development audiobooks have been in high demand over the past year, closely followed by sci-fi series, thrillers, and crime films.Romanian high-rise by atomic habit, James Clear’s international bestseller (over 7 million copies sold worldwide), followed by Tată bogat tată sărac (rich dad poor dad) and Începe cu de ce (start with why). The English top is led by Sapiens and Homo Deus, World Phenomena series by Yuval Harrari.
Audiobooks narrated by famous actors are also popular on the platform: dune, Read by Andi Vasluianu (one of the most acclaimed narrators in the review), Acolo unde cântă racii (where crayfish sing)a very descriptive book that Adriana Muraru has read that has now become a global blockbuster, and Clubul Crimelor de Joi Collection (thursday murder club).
About 60% of the audience is female, contrary to trends in other international markets, where the majority of the audience is male. Average listening time is estimated to be approximately 7.2 hours per month. Even after the 30-day free trial that AudioTribe offers, most listeners manage to finish one audiobook per month and keep their subscription.
For one audiobook per month, that could mean up to 20 hours of listening time, with prices starting from €6.99, or Rs 35 per month.
AudioTribe continues its mission to encourage Romanians to experience the great wonder of audiobooks – that’s the reason behind our 30-day trial period, where anyone can safely listen to and download up to 3 audiobooks offline in the app. The experience starts with an account created on the www.audiotribe.ro website.
AudioTribe is available throughout Europe, with the exception of Cyprus, Malta, Northern Ireland and the UK.