Simon Dunlop, founder of Bookmate, commented: “This is a big moment for Bookmate. Our users get access to thousands of great new ebooks in English and the recent partnership we have signed is a massive vote of confidence from the publishing industry.”
The service offers a catalog of 500,000 titles which can be read on social reading apps for Android and iDevices. Bookmate recently updated the apps with a social feed which allows readers to follow their friends, favorite authors and celebrities on Bookmate, while also sharing their favorite books and passages. According to Bookmate, users on average spend 54 minutes a day reading ebooks.
I've covered Bookmate in the past, including how it has picked up funding from a leading Russian retailer, its reasons for focusing on certain markets (where piracy is an issue), and how its business model differs from Scribd's. So I won't repeat any of that here.
But I will note that Bookmate has a deal which Amazon has not yet secured for Kindle Unlimited. Following the deal between S&S and Denmark-based Mofibo, this is the second time in only a couple weeks that a smaller ebook subscription service scored a contract with a major US trade publisher which Amazon could not get.
I think we're seeing the start of a trend of Amazon being shunned in this market (for want of a better word). If it continues then Kindle Unlimited could well be put at a disadvantage.
This trend, if it exists, could well explain the speculation that Amazon is about to open up Kindle Unlimited to all KDP authors - with no exclusivity required. This would give Amazon a significantly larger catalog, and what's more the idea is already getting positive responses from some indie authors.