Bookmate, the subscription ebook service and social e-reading platform, is now available in Singapore.
Partnering with StarHub, a Singapore-based digital communications provider, Bookmate brings its more than 500,000-ebook catalog to the country’s growing market of e-readers, in what Bookmate founder Simon Dunlop in a statement today calls “a significant first step in increasing Bookmate’s footprint in Southeast Asia.”
In an interview earlier this year, Dunlop voiced qualified agreement with skeptics of the subscription model for ebooks, saying it “does not seem viable” on its own. When combined with robust social features, though, he said be believes the approach brings sufficient value to readers to make it a scalable business.
Some of Bookmate’s recent advancements this year appear to validate Dunlop’s confidence, with HarperCollins adding its titles to Bookmate’s catalog in October, shortly after the subscription service rolled out two new mobile apps.
Bookmate’s expansion into Asia comes at a time when the subscription ebook market is evolving. In the last few months of the year, some of the best-known providers like Oyster and Scribd moved boldly to expand their product offerings beyond just the subscription-based ebook model Dunlop expressed concern about as a standalone proposition.
Oyster has added curated recommendation features, launched an online literary magazine and brought in top authors as business consultants. Scribd recently rolled out a digital audiobook streaming platform to compete in that increasingly crowded space, which remains dominated by Amazon’s Audible.
Bookmate Continues International Expansion With StarHub Partnership
All Singapore readers can now enjoy unlimited ‘book-streaming’ for a flat monthly fee
Singapore, 17 December 2014 – Bookmate, the leading social ebook reading service, is available in Singapore. Boasting a comprehensive library of over 500,000 ebooks from 600 publishers, Bookmate empowers reading fans to search, discover, interact and read as much as they want, wherever they are.
Available at a flat monthly fee, the service offers books from major publishers such as HarperCollins, Head of Zeus, Profile Books, Serpent’s Tail and others.
As part of its international expansion efforts, Bookmate is exclusively partnering Singapore’s fully-integrated info-communications provider StarHub to introduce its book-streaming service to the local reading community and engage local publishers to offer their books on the platform.
Simon Dunlop, Founder of Bookmate, said, “Our mission is to make reading easy, accessible and fun for everyone with a smart phone. By expanding into Singapore, we have made a significant first step in increasing Bookmate’s footprint in Southeast Asia and thanks to our partnership with StarHub and their highly engaged customers we will be able to reach millions of new readers.”
Michael Sim, Lead Futurist–Entertainment of i3 (Innovation, Investment, Incubation), StarHub, said, “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, providing a timely boost to Singapore’s ebook scene. Through our partnership with Bookmate, local readers can now enjoy unlimited access to Bookmate’s vast collection of ebooks through its comprehensive association with leading publishers.”
Bookmate’s move into Singapore follows its agreement with HarperCollins, announced earlier this year, which saw Bookmate add hundreds of new authors to the service. This announcement also marks Bookmate’s first foray into Asia-Pacific. Bookmate currently has over 1.5 million active monthly users in countries including Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, U.S. and Germany.
The Bookmate service offers customers three subscription tiers – Free, Standard and Premium.
The Standard tier costs SGD 9.98/month and provides hundreds of thousands of fiction and non-fiction titles, including 2014 Booker Prize nominee “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler, Lionel Shriver’s breakout thriller “We Need to Talk About Kevin”, the seminal “Why Nations Fail” by Robinson and Acemoglu, and David Peace’s “Red Riding” series. The Premium tier at SGD 15.98 /month adds on thousands of business and professional books, such as Donald Trump’s “Think Big”, Benjamin Graham’s classic “The Intelligent Investor”, the full “Collins Best Practices” and Economist series, and “Freakonomics” by Levitt & Dubner.
Through the partnership between Bookmate and StarHub, StarHub Hub iD users can enjoy an introductory rate of SGD 8/month for the Standard Tier, and SGD 14/month for the Premium tier. Registration for a Hub iD is open to all at www.starhub.com/hubid. From now till 23 December, the first 500 customers who register online at www.starhub.com/bookmate will enjoy full access to all ebooks on the Standard tier free-of-charge for 30 days.
The Bookmate app, available for free download on Apple App Store, Google Play and Windows Store, includes a social feed that allows users to follow their friends, favourite authors and celebrities on Bookmate, while also sharing their favourite books and passages. The service is also available through a supported web browser.
For more information, please visit www.bookmate.com/starhub
Bookmate is a subscription based social e-reading service with offices in London, Moscow and Singapore. With more than 1.5 million active users and over 500,000 titles in 9 languages, Bookmate brings readers, authors, publishers, brands and distribution partners together through deep social features and strong reader engagement. To find out more visit: http://bookmate.com
StarHub is Singapore’s fully integrated info-communications company, offering a full range of information, communications and entertainment services for both consumer and corporate markets. StarHub operates a mobile network that provides 4G, 3G and 2G services. It also manages an island-wide HFC network that delivers multi-channel pay TV services (including HDTV, Internet TV and on-demand services) as well as ultra-high speed residential broadband services. StarHub operates an extensive fixed business network that provides a wide range of data, voice and wholesale services. Over Singapore’s fibre-based Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network, StarHub offers a broad range of home and business broadband plans along with a host of advanced media-rich value-added services, such as IPTV for commercial entities.
Launched in 2000, StarHub has become one of Singapore’s most innovative info-communications providers, and the pioneer in ‘hubbing’ – the ability to deliver unique integrated and converged services to all its customers. StarHub, listed on the main board of the Singapore Exchange since October 2004, is a component stock of the Straits Times Index and the MSCI Singapore Free Index. Visit www.starhub.com for more information.