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Bookmate launches in Singapore with over half a million e-books available

SINGAPORE — For a flat monthly fee, avid readers can have unlimited access to about half a million electronic books (e-books), as telco StarHub announced a tie-up with Russia-based e-book service Bookmate this morning (Dec 17).

Bookmate launches in Singapore with over half a million e-books available

Screenshot of Bookmate App from iTunes store

SINGAPORE — For a flat monthly fee, avid readers can have unlimited access to about half a million electronic books (e-books), as telco StarHub announced a tie-up with Russia-based e-book service Bookmate this morning (Dec 17).

Readers can choose from two subscription tiers – at S$9.98 per month, which will give them access to fiction and non-fiction titles, and the S$15.98 a month tier that offers more business and professional books. Current and prospective Hub iD users will enjoy discounted rates at S$8 and S$14 respectively.

Major publishers include HarperCollins and Profile Books, and both providers have committed to using this service to highlight local authors and publishers. So far, Singapore publishers marshall Cavendish, Epigram Books and Monsoon Books have signed up.

Mr Simon Dunlop, founder of Bookmate which was started about three years ago, said that the reading habits of people are changing.

“People’s reading behaviours are changing. They are reading on the go, on their mobile devices, and it is no longer about finding an hour or two and reading in a quiet corner. They find gaps in the day, and read,” he said, adding that research has shown people read about one and a half books on average per month.

StarHub has started an e-book service called Booktique, over a year ago, but Mr Michael Sim, lead futurist of entertainment at Starhub, said that the telco found its ala carte model to be less feasible than a subscription model.

“Singapore consumers are fast growing accustomed to getting easy access to an unfettered catalogue of premium online content, for instance, video and music streaming, across multiple devices for a flat monthly fee. This advancement is changing the way people consume content, and we believe the time is ripe to bring this same convenience to book fans,”he said.

According to Bookmate, it has over 1.5 million monthly users in a few countries.

Mr Dunlop believes that Bookmate has a certain edge over Amazon’s Kindle Store, which reportedly has the largest e-book collection at over three million, as the Kindle Store is not present in many markets it is targeting. It also has e-books available in more languages, such as Bahasa Malay and Indonesian, and Mandarin.

Bookmate is available for free download on the Apple App Store, Google Play and Windows Store.

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