Walmart teams with Rakuten on digital book shop

  • TECH
  • Saturday, 25 Aug 2018

A Walmart store is seen in Landover, Maryland. — AFP Relaxnews

Walmart on Aug 22 launched a digital book shop in a collaboration with Japanese e-commerce powerhouse Rakuten's electronic book service Kobo.

The Walmart eBooks website boasting more than six million titles along with audiobooks competes head-on with a core offering of rival Amazon.

Subscriptions to the Walmart audiobook service were US$9.99 (RM41) monthly, compared to US$14.95 (RM61.42) for a comparable Audible service at Amazon.

"The launch of Walmart eBooks by Rakuten Kobo marks a milestone for our strategic alliance," Rakuten executive vice president Makoto Arima said in a release.

The ebook shop stemmed from a strategic alliance Walmart and Rakuten announced earlier this year, according to the companies.

Digital books are available on Kobo eReaders and on applications tailored for mobile devices powered by Apple or Android software.

"Working with Kobo enables us to quickly and efficiently launch a full eBook and audiobook catalog on alongside our assortment of physical books," said Walmart US e-commerce and entertainment general manager Mario Pacini.

The move marks the latest effort by Walmart, the former number one US retailer, to counter the rise of Amazon. – AFP Relaxnews

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