Kobo gets audiobooks in latest push against Amazon

Brittany A. Roston - Sep 6, 2017, 4:28 pm CDT
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Kobo gets audiobooks in latest push against Amazon

When it comes to ebooks, most people still think of Amazon. The Internet company has long dominated the online publishing market, having been the driving force behind the rise of ereaders and digital books. Still, competitors remain and notable among them is Kobo, which has launched its own ereaders over the years. The company launched its own online ebook subscription service back in February, and now it is back with audiobooks.

Kobo’s audiobooks arrive as an alternative to Audible, which is an Amazon company. The audiobooks are being offered alongside a monthly subscription which works in a way similar to Audible. Users receive ‘credits’ for their monthly fee, and those credits are then swapped for audiobooks. Kobo is also offering rewards called Super Points that can be applied toward audiobooks.

The company is also tacking on some incentive via Price Match, and states that users get to keep their audiobooks no matter what, even if they cancel the subscription. A tree trial is available that gives listeners a single audiobook for free. Those who don’t sign up for the subscription can pay a flat rate for content, though the price will typically be higher.

The subscription plan undercuts Amazon’s Audible with its $9.99/month rate (Audible is $14.95/month). Those who listen to many books a month will also soon have the option of signing up for a 2-credit/month plan. Each credit is good for one book, meaning audiobooks priced higher than $9.99 can be had at that lower rate by going with the plan.

Users are able to listen to their audiobooks using the company’s Android or iOS apps. The audio isn’t available on the Kobo ereaders, tablets, or any of the other apps such as BlackBerry or desktop.


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