Some of the frustration surrounding ebook lending and digital borrowing may be getting a little help, as Spanish company 24symbols announced today that it has partnered with mobile device company Zed for global distribution.
Described as the Netflix of books, 24symbols allows users to read content from a wide variety of publishers on internet-based computers and devices, alleviating much of the concern over piracy since no content is downloaded. Publishers are paid per page view of the book, allowing them to feel confident that their interests and the interests of their authors will be met.
24symbols also supports a social reading experience, allowing users to find friends and compare books, comment on each others’ titles, and more.
Now, mobile device company Zed has signed on with 24symbols to increase global use of the platform; the agreement also gives Zed a 32% ownership of the company. Zed has a customer base of over 400 million users through its agreements with more than 200 service providers and carriers.
“This agreement gives 24symbols a new distribution channel through the carriers,” said 24symbols’ CEO Aitor Grandes in a statement. “From now on, we are going to be able to reach millions of users worldwide that can only access premium digital content through their carriers”.
Subscription-based ebook borrowing has received a slow adoption in many places, and publishers have shown their concern over ensuring that their return on the borrowed titles is worthwhile. At the same time, customers have countered that per-book rates aren’t ideal, given that book length and reading speed vary so greatly. 24symbols’ model is aimed at meeting the needs of publishers and readers by tailoring the payment structure to consumed content.