Blinkist goes global the fast way, with Google Market Finder

Discover how Google’s international team helped one developing app go from start-up to global success


  • Expand into new markets
  • Adjust market comms to reflect regional differences
  • More subscribers and continuous growth


  • Used Market Finder to access new regional and consumer insights
  • Applied these insights to test tailored approaches to each market
  • Expanded campaigns from a few core markets to almost global, customised, coverage


  • 139% growth in acquired users, 2018-2019
  • 100% growth in new paying customers, 2018-2019
  • 113% increase in revenue, 2018-2019
  • 40% decrease in cost per acquired user
  • 26% decrease in cost per acquired customer

After leaving university and starting work in 2012, Holger Seim and his friends noticed they had less time than ever to read, discover, and learn new things. That’s when they came up with the idea for Blinkist – an app offering bitesize takeaways from the bestselling non-fiction books in text and audio formats. Today, Blinkist has 13 million users and employs 150 people from its Berlin HQ.

Like any start-up, Holger and his team had lots to learn in a short space of time. Things like how to develop and market an app, build an organisation from scratch, and produce high-quality content at scale. The first two years were challenging. Customer numbers grew very little, and funders weren’t yet buying into the idea of consumer subscription models.

Blinkist were also struggling to adjust their strategy – and communications – to new and often very different markets, especially where English wasn’t the first language. Additionally, the business needed a way to achieve its scaling potential with new ad formats and targeting options.

How Google helped

Access new market insights

Blinkist knew which markets it wanted to enter, but had few insights about them. Rather than needing to invest in costly research, they used Google’s Market Finder tool. This meant they could quickly build on their existing knowledge – and gain a deeper understanding of not only the differences between regions, but also their new and emerging trends.

Adapt comms on a market-by-market basis

Using these insights, Blinkist went from using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ advertising approach in English-speaking markets only, to running customised campaigns matched to the unique differences of markets around the world. With the help of Google’s support team, they also made significant changes to their creatives and campaigns.

Reach near-global coverage

With Google’s expertise and resources to hand, Blinkist could roll out their global marketing strategy, and quickly start reaching and converting new subscribers.

“Google’s internationalisation team helped us expand our campaigns to new markets, launch new formats and get better at localising our marketing efforts. We see a lot more opportunities for improvement and even higher growth in the coming years.” Holger Seim, Co-founder, Blinkist