Aldi to Open eBookstore in Germany

Over the past six years the grocery store chain Aldi has released branded ereaders and tablets  in the UK, Australia, Germany, and other countries.

Now it is getting into ebooks.

Starting on 20 October, Aldi will be selling ebooks in its home market of Germany through a new service called Aldi life eBooks. The service will offer a paltry million titles which can be read through a matching Android app.


There's no mention by Aldi of an app for iPhone or iPad, but the announcement does say that you can read on a PC. (Several German sites say there will be an iOS app, but it's not clear whether that is true or an assumption.)

Aldi will be bundling the new app with an Android tablet which launches next Thursday. The Medion E6912 E-Tab is a 7" tablet which cost 129 euros and runs Android 6.0 on a quad-core CPU with 1GB RAM. It will be carried by both parts of Aldi (Aldi Nord and Aldi Sud) and will come with a 10 euro credit for Aldi Live eBooks.

Aldi is getting into ebooks rather late, but this venture is less about ebooks for their own sake than a more general move into digital content and services. Also also offers prepaid phone cards under the Aldi Talk brand, and it has a streaming music service: Aldi life Musik.

In a way, Aldi is copying Tesco's failed attempt to launch a digital content sub, Blinkbox. That effort included ebooks, videos, and music, but it shut down last year after it was sold off for parts and the ebook customers were handed off to Kobo.

It would be easy to assume that Aldi's venture into digital is as doomed as Tesco's, but it's worth remembering that Tesco spent a lot of money buying and building Blinkbox and then shut it down when the company did not provide the expected return. We have no similar evidence that Aldi hs made a similar investment in a money-losing property.


About Nate Hoffelder (11480 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."

6 Comments on Aldi to Open eBookstore in Germany

  1. Why a “paltry one million”?

    The 3/4/5 million offered by the big American retailers looks impressive at first glance, but if most of the ebooks are in a foreign language – English – it’s not such a great deal for Germans who prefer titles in their own language.

  2. Interesting. I’d have thought they’d be more in direct competition to Tolino (which more specifically targets the German language market) than Amazon.

  3. Now that’s a bit of a surprise. It’s going to be interesting to see how they build their catalog. I doubt it’s going to be a great market for indie authors (depending on access, of course), but it’s certainly worthwhile watching this.

  4. This is potentially very interesting for German indies, because Aldi is huge in Germany and they haven’t been limited to the pure grocery business for a long time.

    As for where the e-books come from, apparently Börsenblatt asked them and the answer was that they are working with “various distributors and aggregators”. I guess it’s too much to hope that one of those distributors is indie-friendly, but you never know.

    Definitely a development to keep an eye on.

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