The Kobo Plus book (and audiobook) subscription has arrived in Italy

The Kobo Plus book (and audiobook) subscription has arrived in Italy
The Kobo Plus book (and audiobook) subscription has arrived in Italy

Tens of thousands of books and audiobooks, all available in one click on the ebook reader, by subscription. A bit like music on Spotify or t-series on Netflix (or Kindle books). But this time the concept of all-inclusive laps the written word: Kobo, the first in Italy, presented Kobo Plus, a combined offer of reading ebooks and listening to audiobooks on subscription for 13 euros. Furthermore, the most popular e-book reader in ePub format in the world (and, according to some, the only possible alternative to the Amazon system), also took the opportunity to present on the market 2 new ereaders, designed specifically for the subscription service, since they are also equipped with a bluetooth connection for earphones. The idea, it goes without saying, is to ride the long wave of the pandemic, which from the point of view of ebooks has been very prolific …

Kobo Plus: what is it?

The slogan “all-you-can-enjoy” and not all-you-can-read it is no coincidence: Kobo Plus for 13 euros per month, by subscription, allows access to several thousand books, Italian and foreign, but also to a vast catalog of audio books. Those who want, of course, can also subscribe to just one of the formats (reading or audio), a 10 euros per month. In any case, the catalog is vast: Kobo has signed agreements with the main publishers in the world including, in Italy, Feltrinelli, Einaudi, Longanesi, Mondadori. And there is no shortage of ebooks from Kobo Writing Life, Rakuten Kobo’s publishing platform open to self-publishing. “There are two types of readers: those who read even 2/3 books a month and those who don’t, even for a matter of costs: Kobo Plus is designed for both.“, Explains a Wired Michael Tamblyn, ceo di Rakuten Kobo. “And also for those who appreciate audiobooks: a new category of readers that is also growing in Italy”.
According to Tamblyn, a subscription system like Kobo Plus also benefits publishers. “Being able to buy only one book, we usually focus on best sellers or at least on safe choices. But having a catalog of hundreds of thousands of titles at their disposal, many will end up exploring the catalogs, based on their interests, also digging up old books and putting them back into circulation.”.

How does it work?

Kobo Plus is accessible both from computers and various gadgets, and from ebook readers: the interface is reminiscent of the traditional one of Kobo, but instead of buying the books you can get them for free while the subscription is valid. After that they will no longer be accessible. One of the few positive effects of the dark days of the lockdown was the rediscovery of reading which for many coincided with the discovery of the ebook. “In 9 months we have registered a growth of 3 years”, commenta Tamblyn. “In Italy, digital readers have grown significantly, also thanks to initiatives such as the one we implemented with Mondadori and allowed us to give away 20,000 ebooks“. The idea with Kobo Plus is to put Italians’ new passion for digital reading to good use.

Kobo e-readers

To accompany the launch of the all-inclusive subscription, Kobo introduces two new ereaders: Kobo Sage e Kobo Libra 2, both equipped with bluetooth connection to allow listening to audiobooks with earphones. Here they are:

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