Launching a partnership announced earlier this year, Walmart and e-book retailer Rakuten Kobo detailed plans to offer an array of e-book content, reading services and devices via Walmart stores and cobranded iOS and Android apps.
The new service, Walmart eBooks by Rakuten Kobo, launches today and will deliver a newly organized digital books and services catalog to Walmart consumers based on Kobo’s e-book inventory of about six million e-book titles.
The e-book retailing partnership will also feature a monthly audiobook subscription service for $9.99 a month (for access to one audiobook per month); digital book cards (with download codes) for more than 40 titles will go on sale at 3,500 Walmart stores; and Kobo tablets and digital e-readers will go on sale in about 1,000 Walmart stores,.
To mark the launch of the e-book partnership, Walmart eBooks is offering first-time customers $10 off their first e-book or audiobook purchase. And consumers who sign up for the audiobook subscription will get their first 30 days for free.
Rakuten Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn said the new partnership is another step toward building a robust U.S. retailing presence for the Canada-based and Japanese-owned e-book retailer. “We’re excited to partner with Walmart as we grow in the U.S. market. Together, we can provide even more people with a great reading experience, whether that’s print, digital or both.”