Bookmate Brings Ebook Subscription to The International Stage
Bookmate is an ebook subscription platform that is bringing paid access to heavily pirated ebook markets such as Russia and the Ukraine. The subscription platform is available on all devices and operating platforms, allowing users to access books for roughly $4 a month. Publishers who partner with Bookmate receive payments based on a 50/50 split of the subscription price after more than 10% of a book is read. And, like other ebook subscription services, Bookmate provides analytics to publishers on users' reading habits. Below James Glynn, head of communications at Bookmate, describes what sets the platform apart.
How are you innovative?
Bookmate is innovative in that we have spent the last few years working out the perfect formula for a reading service in post-piracy markets. We have signed up over 350 Russian publishers and have over 250,000 books in Russian, English, and Ukrainian. The formula is:
How is Bookmate disruptive to the publishing industry?
We are a social reading service based on a subscription model and we want to get as many people reading as many books as possible. Amazon, iBooks, and Google Play are all ineffectual models in many markets that have high levels of piracy as users don't want to pay $10 for a single book when they could download it for free.
Bookmate solves that problem by providing a reading service that is beautiful, convenient, social, and paid for by subscription. We have crafted a better alternative to piracy, whilst returning revenues and vital market and user analytics to publishers from markets in which they have minimal penetration.
In many markets around the world there are high levels of piracy, in Russia for instance latest figures show that around 90% of all digital media is pirated, yet Bookmate has thrived.
Who is your competition and what makes you stand out?
In terms of our competitors in the purest sense of the word Oyster, Scribd, 24 Symbols, and Nubico are companies that all offer similar services with varying business models, but each is operating more or less in their own markets. In reality, though, Bookmate competes for a user's attention on mobile -- our most popular reading device. There is tremendous competition with Angry Birds, Facebook, Twitter, and Candy Crush, etc., so we make sure that we are easily accessible on all mobile devices with just one click. We remove the barriers to reading and allow our users to snatch a few minutes here and there through the day on their tablet or mobile.
Looking to the future we've built a strong international content and business development team and plan to open in 14 new markets in 2014. In addition to Latin America, Turkey, and Italy we are targeting a number of developing markets that have a strong English language reading population. We find the fact that there are greater numbers English readers outside the U.S. and U.K. than there are inside, very exciting.