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.

Aldi to Open eBookstore in Germany e-Reading Hardware eBookstore

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.

 

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

11 Comments

  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.

    Reply
  2. Irish Imbas10 October, 2016

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

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder10 October, 2016

      I was a little surprised Aldi didn’t join Tolino.

      Reply
  3. […] 7. Aldi to Open eBookstore in Germany (via The Digital Reader) […]

    Reply
  4. Hannah Steenbock11 October, 2016

    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.

    Reply
  5. Cora Buhlert12 October, 2016

    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.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder12 October, 2016

      One source said Libreka, but i wanted to get a report on the app before I said anything.

      Reply
  6. […] show. The only English language article about the Aldi announcement I was able to find is this one by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader. Nate Hoffelder compares Aldi‘s venture into the e-book market to Tesco’s failed […]

    Reply
  7. […] is the latest company to branch out into […]

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  8. […] Aldi’s German division has begun selling ebooks through an online marketplace called Aldi Life eBooks, reports The Digital Reader. […]

    Reply
  9. […] October the discount retailer Aldi launched an ebookstore and digital music store in Germany. Now it has brought the same service to Austria under Aldi's […]

    Reply

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