Kobo, the global e-book player that has been making a noise since it spun out of Canada's Indigo Books & Music, has announced a partnership with the well-known French retailer Fnac.
Since I am at Frankfurt airport, I'll post the details here, and comment later. What this means for the Fnacbook is not immediately clear. We had heard that a new iteration of that device was coming to Frankfurt, but the French shop has obviously decided to change strategy. With Waterstone's intent on inventing its own e-reader, in the UK surely a W H Smith, Blackwell, or even Foyles deal now make sense.
Press release follows:
FNAC has chosen Kobo to deliver a superior eReading experience to their customers, leveraging the Kobo eReading platform, one of the largest global catalogues in the world, top rated apps for any device, and Kobo’s leading selection of eReaders.
Launching to market within the fourth quarter of 2011, in 81 stores in France and online with Fnac.com, this partnership will cement Kobo and FNAC as the popular eReading platform of choice within the French marketplace. For the launch FNAC will have eReading experts on hand, to give personalised in-store Kobo demonstrations and to introduce and educate their customers to eReading and Kobo.
“Partnering with leading bookseller in France, FNAC, brings Kobo closer to our vision of delivering the best eReading experience to more readers, on any device, in more countries around the world,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo, Inc. “We believe our launch into France as well as our upcoming entries into Spain, Italy and the Netherlands will be embraced by the European eReading community, as people start eReading, building their lifetime digital libraries, and reading freely across multiple devices.”
“A leading retailer of technology, leisure and cultural products, Fnac is also the number 1 book retailer in France, selling more than 50 million print books each year.” said Alexandre Bompard, CEO, Fnac . “Like Kobo, Fnac is passionate about reading and about the opportunity ebooks offer to and lead the ebook market in France."the consumers. We are very excited to move a step forward and partner with Kobo, by bringing “Kobo by Fnac” innovative ereading solution to the French market. Our common objective is to offer a top notch solution and the largest ebook catalog in order to meet French customer expectations.
As part of the partnership Kobo will develop free eReading French language apps for iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch® and Android™, and PlayBook™. The apps will bring a next-generation reading experience to users. FNAC customers will be able to access their library and read across devices, French-language best sellers, the hottest new releases and classics.
In addition to delivering a complete ecosystem of content, apps, and eReaders - Kobo will also offer a localized version of popular social program - Reading Life under the Kobo by FNAC brand. Reading Life is a leading, industry-first social experience that lets passionate readers track and share their love of reading. With Reading Life, users can connect with friends or book clubs and discuss their favorite books on Facebook, they can track their statistics which provide a tally of their library and reading activity – an insightful way for users to learn about their reading habits.
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