Kobo Takes On Amazon With New Audiobook Service

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Canadian eBook and eReader company Kobo has launched a new audiobook subscription service that will directly compete with Amazon’s Audible.

Owned by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, Kobo currently sells eReaders in Australia through JB Hi-Fi and Myer, and online at Angus & Robertson Bookworld and the Kobo website.

The new audiobook subscription service launching in Australia, as well as the US, Canada, the UK and New Zealand, will give customers one credit per month for $12.99 which can be exchanged for any audiobook on Kobo’s website.

Amazon’s Audible operates in a similar way, but at a slightly higher price point of $14.95 a month.

However, Kobo’s offering appears to be more restrictive than Audible in terms of supported devices. Kobo audiobooks can only be played back on the Kobo App for Android and iOS devices, while Audible also supports Windows, Mac and other devices.

Neither company supports playback of audiobooks on their current generation eReaders.

Kobo is offering a free 30-day trial of the service, and said it would also offer plans with two credits per month as well as annual subscriptions sometime in the future.

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