If you were wondering what megacorporate titan was positioning itself to go head-to-head with Amazon's Prime offerings, well, it looks like that will be Walmart, Inc. Earlier this year, Walmart and Rakuten Kobo announced a partnership to offer a variety of e-book content, reading services, and even devices through its Walmart stores as well as through development and launch of co-branded iOS and Android smartphone apps.
Walmart Ebooks launched yesterday, opening to its customers about six million titles through its partnership with Kobo. Of course, this includes the option to subscribe to an audiobook service for $9.99 for access to one complementary audiobook per month. Also on offer are Kobo tablets and e-readers, as well as digital book cards with download codes for more than 40 titles available through Walmart right now. To sweeten the deal, Walmart offers first time customers $10 off their first e-book or audiobook, and as with some deals via AMZN/Audible, readers who sign up for the audiobook subscription receive a 30-day free subscription before their payment service is charged.
Will this make it worth it for indie authors to remove their ebooks from walled KDP gardens full Kindles and Fire tablets in order to gain exposure to Walmart's brand new market full of readers? Looks like we're all going to find out!
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