Amazon is going to be facing increased competition from Brazil's Nuvem de Livros later this year. This ebook subscription service, which boasts a million users in Brazil and Argentina, is planning to expand their service in South America and Central America later this year.
Jonas Suassuna, president and founder of Gol Mobile Group (Nuvem de Livros's parent company), was speaking at Campus Party Brasil in São Paulo last week when he shared the news. Students and readers in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile will soon be able to take advantage of an education focused subscription service. "We are on the path of growth in Brazil and in other Latin American countries, and knowledge is the way to enter the world of better jobs and better quality of life, "said Suassuna, according to Google Translate.
Nuvem de Livros offers a catalog of only 11,000 titles, which even though it is small compared to Scribd, Oyster, or the Kindle Owner's Lending Library, still manages to focus on what students need most.
In addition to accessing interactive maps, audiobooks, educational videos, and author interviews, students who subscribe to the service can read novels, biographies, short story collections, or essays, and they can also look up terms in encyclopedias and dictionaries.
I don't have details on Argentina or other countries, but in Brazil regular subscribers pay 6 Brazilian reais per month, while students pay a discounted subscription of 2 reais per month (under $1). They can read ebooks in their web browser or in apps for iPad, Android, and iPhone.
The Brazilian service was reportedly developed in partnership with Vivo, a subsidiary of the Spanish telecom Telefonica, and has also recently been integrated into Terra Networks, a web portal service which is also owned by Telefonica. Terra Networks operates in the US, Spain, and over a dozen other countries, so this could represent a sign of future expansion plans.
According to my sources, Nuvem de Livros will be launching in the 4 Latin American countries with 3,000 titles, which I am assuming refers to Spanish language works.
With the exception of Mexico and Brazil (2 hotly contested ebook markets), much of Latin America is still a virgin ebook market and presents an excellent opportunity for Nuvem de Livros to recruit readers. Other than iBooks and BajaLibros, none of the majors are actively operating in much of Latin America.
Just think, Nuvem de Livros picked up a million users while competing against Amazon, Apple, Google, and Kobo in Brazil. That made them one of the largest ebook subscription service globally, and in fact the only one to speak publicly about their subscriber base.