Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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‘Netflix for books’ launches in Australia

A new ebook and audiobook membership service has launched in Australia, after launching in the UK last November.

Using a membership-based model, Bookchoice allows users to download up to eight audiobooks and eight ebooks for $4.99 per month. The service focuses on ‘bestsellers and cult classics’, with recent selections including titles by Australian authors Emma Viskic (Resurrection Bay, Echo) and Sofie Laguna (The Eye of the Sheep, A&U). Heather Morris’ The Tattooist of Auschwitz (Echo) is an upcoming selection in June.

Titles accessed through the Bookchoice app are available to users for 12 months, while those downloaded directly from the website ‘will remain on devices indefinitely’, according to a statement from the company.

‘Our mission is to inject more fun and discovery into reading, and to make it more of a daily habit. There’s no reason people can’t be clicking on a book just as easily as they’d click on Netflix or Facebook,’ said Bookchoice chief commercial and content officer Nathan Hull, who was previously digital director at Penguin Random House UK and chief business development officer at Danish ebook and audiobook subscription company Mofibo.

The company says it is focused on reaching non-typical book buyers and lapsed readers. Bookchoice head of international publishing Lija Kresowaty told the Bookseller, ‘When I worked in publishing, I naturally spent most of my time thinking about reaching “readers”, but what attracted me to the Bookchoice model was its focus on expanding that pool of people … This thinking has been key to its early success in the Netherlands. Our track record working with big brands has shown that our model has the potential to really tap into new segments and bring in people who aren’t typical book buyers.’

Founded by Dutch entrepreneur Boudewijn Jansen in 2014, Bookchoice initially launched in the Netherlands, and now operates from London and Amsterdam. The company now has around 40,000 paid members in the Netherlands, and launched in the UK in November 2017.

For more information, see the website.

 

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