Nextory was founded by the Swedish entrepreneurs Shadi Bitar and Ninos Malki. They became business partners while studying, and since then they have started several successful companies together. Shadi and Ninos are also cousins, and they both came to Sweden as refugees from Syria when they were ten years old. Books have always been of great importance in their lives, and since they’ve seen what happens when a dictator restricts access to literature it’s important to them to preserve democracy and the freedom of speech. Therefore, back in 2015, they decided to work to make books more available to enrich people's lives with stories and that’s when Nextory was founded.
Why did you expand to the Dutch Market?
The Netherlands is a digitally mature market, with a strong growth for audiobooks in general and for subscription services in particular. Only a couple of years ago, the publishers released a few audio books, but now they’re investing a lot in self-produced publishing.
We have followed this development closely, and the timing for a launch of Nextory in The Netherlands was perfect.
What is your role within the organisation?
My role at Nextory is Head of Global Partnership, which means that I work to connect Nextory with different brands in all our ten European markets and to create successful collaborations to spread the word about the Nextory app and how awesome it is to read and listen to books.
How do you see the cooperation with the Dutch in general? Can you tell something about the differences of the streaming market between the Netherlands and Sweden?
I see the Dutch market as a very digital mature market and very open to new things. I get the feeling that the Dutch, just like Swedes, are very eager to learn about digital products. So I actually feel Sweden and the Netherlands are very similar when it comes to the streaming market. Regarding differences in doing business, I have learned that you need to be very direct and clear on the value, when approaching a decision maker in The Netherlands.
What are the ambitions of Nextory in the upcoming year?
Nextory’s long-term ambition is to expand, on existing markets and new ones, to keep up our fantastic growth to eventually become one of the largest players in the book industry worldwide. All the while staying true to our mission to increase reading all over the world. During the next year, we’re planning to develop the Nextory reading experience further with new, innovative features and of course, to add new, amazing stories to our huge library..