Kobo has announced they have signed an exclusive partnership with the Australian bookseller Booktopia. Booktopia and Kobo have released co-branded e-reading apps for Android and iOS and existing customers will be able to login to any Kobo readers, using their existing Booktopia user credentials.
In this partnership, Rakuten Kobo and Booktopia will serve readers through a new joint venture, Booktopia by Rakuten Kobo. Booktopia customers will have access to Kobo’s offering of more than five million titles, including eBooks and audiobooks.
The partnership features an integration of the Booktopia and Kobo ecosystems. The eBook and digital audiobook catalogue is available to app and eReader customers now; audiobooks will become available to online customers in April. Customers who are interested in audiobooks earlier can also take advantage of an audiobook subscription, wherein they will be redirected from Booktopia.au.com to Kobo.com to sign up and select titles.
“Rakuten Kobo’s greatest successes come when we work with great booksellers. Booktopia’s combination of deep expertise and loyal customers is the perfect complement to Kobo’s focus on creating excellent digital reading experiences,” said Michael Tamblyn, CEO and President, Rakuten Kobo. “As a company founded in Canada, we know what it means to create something special for our own country both commercially and culturally.”
“Collaborative partnership with booksellers has been hugely successful in other markets like Canada, where we were founded by and continue to partner with the book retailer Indigo; the Netherlands where we are partnered with Bol.com; or France and Spain where we’ve partnered with Fnac, to name a few,” Mr. Tamblyn went on to say. “If a book retailer is fielding a competitive eReading experience in the face of global competition, we are usually working with them. We look forward to this next phase of growth in Australia.”
“At Booktopia, we are in tune with the needs of our customers, and it is our constant goal to bring them new ways of immersing themselves in reading. We are pleased to be partnering with Rakuten Kobo and expanding our digital footprint in Australia, launching a new offering of eBooks, audiobooks and devices for our customers. Together with Kobo, we’re exploring new ways to make reading easier for customers by offering exceptional experiences however they prefer to shop and read,” says Tony Nash, CEO of Booktopia.
I think this is a good deal for Booktopia who normally just sells hardcover and paperback books. It gives them the ability to earn revenue by selling digital audiobooks and ebooks. They only earn a commision from Kobo when something is sold, but it gives them an advantage over their competition.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.