Airtel launches ebook app Airtel Books to take on Amazon Kindle, Google Play Books, & Apple Books

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New Delhi | Published: April 3, 2019 7:53:20 PM

Airtel Books is available on iOS and Android

Surviving the continual loss of mobile subscribers, Airtel is turning to grow its software business to boost profits. The telco has now announced the launch of its new app called Airtel Books that is a marketplace for a range of ebooks. Unlike its most apps, Airtel Books will be accessible to both Airtel and non-Airtel customers. The app is now available to download on Android and iOS.

As a part of the catalogue, Airtel Books has over 70,000 titles from Indian and international authors. Many of the ebooks are powered by Juggernaut Books, a stake of which was purchased by Airtel in December last year. Airtel says it is planning to “rapidly expand” the collection of ebooks with other major publishers.

Airtel Books comes as a rival to Amazon Kindle (including Prime Reading), Google Play Books, and Apple Books – the companies that have heavily invested to procure exclusive rights from leading publishers and authors as the consumption of ebooks surges.

Besides, Reliance Jio is a strong competitor in the neighbourhood that is gradually making its venture into content development. Jio has a slew of apps that offer exclusive, as well as outsourced, content. JioMags is the nearest counterpart to Airtel Books right now but the Mukesh Ambani-owned telco could enter the digital reading space.

But Airtel is touting the latest titles such as ‘Mind Without Fear’ by Rajat Gupta to make Airtel Books a better option. The telco is also claiming a collection of regional book titles to serve the readers interested in books in their local language.

Airtel is offering one-month complimentary access to the subscribers that includes a collection of over 70,000 titles and the ‘free’ titles available as a part of the Readers Club membership. Airtel subscribers can avail a maximum of five paid ebooks from the Readers Club on top of the benefits.

The Airtel Books Readers Club membership will be available in two tiers – Rs 129 for 6 months and Rs 199 for 12 months. Both the subscription plans bundle free benefits such as exclusive invites to book launch events, writing workshops. The subscribers can buy individual titles on the pay-as-you-go basis.

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