Bookmate Partners with Tigo Mobile in Paraguay and Guatemala

bookmate logoBookmate's long promised expansion into Latin America has commenced.

The social reading service announced on Tuesday that it had partnered with a telecom, Millicom, to launch Bookmate's service in Paraguay and Guatemala. The service is being handled by Tigo Mobile, the largest telecom in those two countries.

Bookmate offers a subscription ebook service similar to Scribd and Oyster, only with a very different focus. Rather than focus on Western market, Bookmate got its start in markets where piracy was rampant, or the average consumer either lacked a credit card (Scribd and Oyster require them) or was unable to afford a high monthly subscription. Bookmate partners with local telecoms to offer a by-the-day or monthly service that is priced so local consumers can afford it.

In the case of Paraguay and Guatemala, Tigo will be handling the billing for Bookmate, simplifying the payment process by bundling the cost into a Bookmate subscriber's monthly cell phone bills.

Bookmate offers a subscription ebook service with over 500,000 titles in eleven languages, including 200,000 titles in English and 40,000 Spanish language ebooks from over 400 publishers. it has also just launched a self-publishing service with an initial collection of more than 20,000 self-published Spanish language ebooks.

Bookmate plans to expand into an additional four markets in Latin America in 2015.

image by Diego3336

 

About Nate Hoffelder (11578 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

1 Comment on Bookmate Partners with Tigo Mobile in Paraguay and Guatemala

  1. Carrier billing is the key to making the ebook market work in the truly nascent markets like these.

    Google Play is embracing carrier billing in some countries, and it would be great if Kobo could do that too.

    In the “Third World” smartphones (usually cheap counterfeits, but they work perfectly well) are everywhere, and as sites like Wattpad show, people are eager to e-read. But access to ebooks is severely limited.

    Google Play offers its service in around sixty countries, Apple in fifty, Amazon only in a dozen or so without punitive surcharges. Kobo has wider reach, but of little use if you cannot make payment because you don’t have a recognised credit card or even a bank account.

    In the Third World mobile services are paid for by exchanging cash – often tiny amounts compared to what we would pay in the west – for scratch cards that credit the mobile account. With carrier billing that credit can be used to pay for purchases as well as the data downloads and calling charges.

    In India the app-based ebook stores like Newshunt and Rockstand have carrier billing and get substantial traffic from it. Google Play is in talks to bring carrier billing to the Google Play store in India.

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