The Kobo company, based in Canada, is quickly gaining ground, and if you haven’t paid attention to Kobo before, you may want to check it out now. Kobo is lesser-known than giant Amazon.com – which invented the first e-reader device – and Kobo is also a relatively new player in the global e-reader device marketplace. But it now is in partnership with Amazon’s biggest retail rival, Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart to Offer E-books
Wal-Mart and Kobo have teamed-up to start selling e-books, as well as Kobo e-reader devices and audiobooks. Wal-Mart plans to begin adding those items to its extensive inventory later this year. Customers will be able to purchase them both online and in Wal-Mart brick-and-mortar retail stores. You can expect Wal-Mart to continue its policy of offering very competitive pricing, because affordability is one of its core values as a leading low-cost retail company. With Kobo gaining popularity and introducing some really high-quality, feature-rich, super-capable e-reader devices, this pairing-up with Wal-Mart is very beneficial to fans of e-books.
Mass Marketing of Kobo in the USA
Up until now, Kobo has not tried very hard to capture the market for e-books and e-readers in the United States. Rather than trying to go head-to-head with US-based Amazon, Kobo instead expanded its footprint into other international markets. But this relationship with Wal-Mart changes all of that. With the support of Wal-Mart, Kobo can give Amazon a really strong level of competition, and competition in the retail arena is always good news for the end-user consumer.
Under the terms of this new arrangement, Wal-Mart will become the exclusive mass marketer for the Kobo brand in the United States. That is a potential game-changer for the e-book market, because it will put Kobo e-book titles and gadgets in Wal-Mart stores nationwide. Wal-Mart has about 4,000 stores in the USA, and close to 6,500 stores worldwide. Plus it is a big boon for Wal-Mart. Once the transition has been fully implemented, you’ll be able to go to your local Wal-Mart or shop online at Wal-Mart, and have access to Kobo’s gigantic inventory of about 6,000,000 unique titles. Kobo publishes all different genres, and books from thousands of authors. The content offered through this dynamic partnership will be available on both iOS and Android platforms.
Kobo Launches Original Content Program
Meanwhile, Kobo is gearing-up for the imminent partnership to happen, by adding some new features and programs to its lineup. One of the newest announcement is that Kobo is starting to offer exclusive, original e-book and audiobook content. Creation of original content has propelled the profits and increased the market share of leading content providers such as Netflix and Amazon. Now it appears that Kobo wants to get in on the game.
As an executive vice-president at Kobo recently explained, “Everything we do is for the reader, and our best customers have told us exclusive content is something they want to see from us. We are pleased to be launching our Kobo Originals programs with Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist, Zoe Whittall and The Best Kind of People. We are quickly ramping up the program, and are working in close collaboration with agents and publishers to create a robust exclusive catalogue to serve booklovers.” Kobo representatives say that there is a lot more to come within the next several months of 2018.
Kobo Features Now Include Large Print Mode
Not only are more titles coming, but those who prefer to read larger print can now do so with their Kobo e-readers. In January a new Large Print Mode feature was added to Kobo devices, during a features update. To find the setting, go to the device’s Main Menu and then look under Beta Features. Once the device it set to Large Print Mode, everything you view will be zoomed to a much bigger font text size.