The German retailer Weltbild has offered its customers a limited ebook subscription service via its stake in Tolino since last November, and now it is launching an even more crippled version of Kindle Unlimited. The service is called WeBookAbo, and subscribers will pay 7 euros each month for the privilege of reading two ebook from a selection of ten.
That is about a 30% discount on retail, I am told, but given the other limitations this is not that good of a deal.
The selection is drawn from titles exclusive to Weltbild, for which the media retailer has secured the licenses, and doesn’t include well-known authors. Also, you have to use the two book credits each month, or lose them. And the books of course are locked down with DRM, while the retail copies do not.
I do not know why anyone would want to pay for this service; the selection stinks, and you don’t even get to own the ebooks.
In a way, this reminds me of Amazon’s Kindle First offering. That is a free benefit of Amazon Prime, and lets me choose a free ebook every month. This is a great freebie, and there’s obvious value to Prime members.
WeBookAbo, on the other hand, has no value other than to remind us that the reaosn Amazon is beating other retailers that, well, they suck.