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Walmart Launches Online Store for Ebooks, Audiobooks

Amazon just got yet another competitor in the ebook and audiobook space: Walmart launched its very own digital book store Wednesday, selling ebooks as well as audiobooks through its website and dedicated apps.

The retail giant’s digital book service is being powered by Kobo, the ebook company owned by Japan’s Rakuten. Through the partnership, Walmart customers are now able to buy from a catalog of more than six million books, which can be read through dedicated mobile apps as well as Kobo’s line of ebook readers.

Walmart is also launching a Kobo-powered audiobook subscription service for $9.99 per month. For that price, consumers get one book credit per month. Audiobooks will be accessible even after a subscription is cancelled.

As part of the partnership, Walmart will also start to sell so-called digital book cards that can be redeemed online for ebooks in 3500 stores. Additionally, Walmart will sell Kobo’s latest ebook reader in 1000 stores.

Amazon has long dominated the ebook market with its Kindle readers and online store, and the company’s Audible subsidiary is the audio book market leader. But more recently, other companies have tried to go head-to-head with Amazon on both fronts. Most notably, Google launched its own audiobook store as part of its Google Play Books service in January.

 

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