Blinkist – Understanding Non-fiction Books in 15 Minutes
- Company name: Blinks Labs GmbH
- Industry: Education
- Formation: 2013
- Founders: Tobias Balling, Niklas Jansen, Sebastian Klein and Holger Seim
- Location: Berlin
- Number of employees: 80+
- Turnover: 19,5 million euros (2018)
- Investors: not specified
- Total funding amount: not known
- Subscription-based model since: Start
- Offer structure: Monthly or annual subscription
- Product cost:
monthly: 12,99 €/month
annual: 79,88 €/year
Blinkist is a free service that creates summaries of everything from individual non-fiction books to new releases and makes these essays available to its subscribers. Blinkist offers a library of over 3,000 titles. The content is provided as text and audio files that can be read or listened to within about 15-30 minutes. Each title is prepared by specially trained authors.
The Blinkist subscription for more expertise
The Berlin-based company has been offering an app for book summaries since mid-2012. Users are supposed to be able to read or listen to an audio version of a textbook in just 15 to 20 minutes, or understand the key points. The start-up is on a massive expansion course but still dependent on financial resources. The company’s net loss rose to 9.0 million euros in 2018. In total, around 21.8 million euros have been invested in the development of Blinkist since its launch. Most recently, investments from Insight Venture Partners, IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft and e.ventures flowed into the company in mid-2018.
Understand the essence of books in 15 minutes with the Blinkist app
The company relies on experts for the summaries. Business consultants, coaches and experts are particularly in demand for the summaries. Analytical thinking is particularly important in order to be able to break down even thick textbooks to their core statements – so-called blinks. The audio tracks are recorded by professional speakers. According to the company, up to seven employees work on a Blink.
With the Blinkist app, the user can select the title, store it in his or her library and add titles that are not available to a Wishlist. The Blinks can then be read in 15 to 20 minutes or listened to in audio book quality. This way, the commute to work or the time until the next meeting can be used to acquire new knowledge. The titles can also be downloaded to listen to or read offline. This way, users can read several books at once while travelling. Blinkist’s target group is primarily busy people who want to broaden their horizons and acquire new knowledge despite having little time. The large amount of data and information can thus be processed quickly.
The subscription offer – How much does Blinkist cost?
There are more than 3,000 non-fiction books on offer, with 40 books added every month. The selection ranges from non-fiction classics to guidebooks and new publications. Popular categories are “Productivity & Time Management”, “Personal Development” and “Health & Fitness”. The Blinkist app learns from the user’s selected titles and makes corresponding suggestions for new, suitable titles.
The subscription costs amount to 12.99 euros per month or 79.88 euros for an annual subscription. Those who do not wish to take out a Blinkist Premium subscription can take out Blinkist Basic at no cost. Here, the user receives access to a title selected by Blinkist every day. The Basic subscription can be easily upgraded to the Permium subscription.
Blinkist offers a 7-day trial period when taking out an annual subscription, during which the subscription can be cancelled. Die can be cancelled with 24 hours’ notice before expiry, without cancellation they will be extended by one month or one year respectively.
Alternatives and competitors
The short summaries of long guidebooks are often sufficient to know the most important facts and to get an overview of a topic. However, personal notes of the author and fancy formulations get lost in the short summaries. Often the blinks serve to assess whether the reader or listener is really interested in a book. The summary format works for non-fiction, but not for novels. Breaking them down to content alone would not be very promising.
There are few alternatives to Blinkist. The provider getAbstract specialises primarily in corporate customers and, at €30 per month, is significantly higher than Blinkist’s prices. The thematic focus of getAbstract is also clearly on business topics, whereas Blinkist also offers travel reports, history and health topics.
The growth course of the start-up will continue, according to expectations, primarily through investment in marketing. So far, the ads for the app have been very successful and the network of Blinkist fans is growing.
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