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Walmart has joined forces with Rakuten-Kobo to create the newly launched Walmart eBook Store. The partnership will boost Walmart’s inventory of digital books online and in retail stores. This move is seen as a move against the companies’ mutual competitor Amazon.

A growing challenge to Amazon

Walmart’s partnership with Kobo is expected to better position themselves on the market against their mutual competitor Amazon. At present, Amazon’s Kindle maintains an 83.6% share of the American eReader market. While the Kobo maintains the second place at 13.4% share.

Despite being the new kid on the block,  Walmart eBooks is shaping up to be an Amazon alternative worth looking at. The platform offers access to the 6-million titles available on the Kobo Store. And the store will be offering an affordable audiobook subscription at $9.99 per month. This is a large difference to Amazon Audible’s $14.95 monthly subscription fee.

Maximizing Walmart’s Retail Outlets

The partnership will leverage a strong physical presence in Walmart stores. For starters, Kobo devices will be sold in 1000 Walmart retail outlets. Walmart is already offering the Kobo Aura as a primary option for customers. Also, Digital Book cards are going to be available for purchase in 3500 Walmart. Walmart will initially be offering a selection of roughly 40 titles including The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse-Tyson and Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines.

Aside from Kobo Readers, Walmart eBooks will also be available on the App Store and Google Play making it available to mainstream devices.

Walmart is offering new customers signing up online with $10 off from their first ala carte audiobook or eBook purchase. Also, customers signing up for Walmart eBooks’ audiobook subscription will receive a 30-day free trial.

If you’re looking for interesting books to read now, you should also have a look at our most recent book recommendation listing here.


YouTube: Kindle Alternative? Kobo and Walmart Team up to Create Competition!

Photo credit: The feature image has been provided by Kubo for press and media usage. The embedded video has been provided by Walmart.
Source: Walmart press release

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