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Txtr Has Closed, Customers Advised to Transfer Accounts to Juke

txtr beagleEighteen months have passed since German ebook startup txtr declared bankruptcy, and just over a year since the company was taken over by Saturn, a media retailer and one of txtr’s partners.

And now txtr is no more.

Saturn sent out an email this morning through Juke Entertainment, its digital media outlet. The email informed txtr customers to the effect that txtr had been shutdown. (I’m paraphrasing; whoever wrote the email was apparently terrified of using words like "shutdown" or "closed".)

Txtr customers were given a link to register for an account at Juke, and advised that Juke "combines the world of digital entertainment – with a limitless selection of movies, series, music, e-books, games & software".

Txtr’s ebookstore has already been turned off, and according to the email the txtr servers will be shut off shortly after 24 October 2016.

txtr-logoLaunched in 2009, txtr was initially a hardware company which wanted to develop a Kindle competitor, the txtr Reader. That device was repeatedly delayed and ultimately canceled after the bottom dropped out of the ereader market in mid 2010. (Amazon, B&N, and Kobo had all lowered their prices to the point that there was no profit margin.)

Txtr then pivoted to developing an ebookstore platform which it licensed to telecoms and other companies. It also loaded its software onto 3rd-party ereaders, including Pocketbook, and later developed the Beagle ereader.

The Beagle was launched in 2012 as a smartphone accessory which would be bundled with new contracts, and then died in 2013 when it turned out that neither telecoms nor their customers liked the limited functionality (it could only read ebooks which had been transferred from a paired smartphone) or its 59 euro price tag – only 10 euros less than the Kindle.

And now txtr is as dead as its ereaders.


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