Walmart is coming for the king of audiobooks.
Today Walmart launched a digital store for ebooks and audiobooks with Kobo, a Canadian digital book retailer owned by the Japanese company Rakuten.
The audiobook subscription, at $9.99 a month, is a clear attempt to win price-conscious readers away from Amazon, which itself relies on dirt-cheap prices. Audible, which is owned by Amazon and is the largest retailer and producer of audiobooks in the world, prices its subscription at $14.95 per month. Both subscriptions come with one monthly audiobook.
Walmart also released an app. Its audio interface comes with the basics—sleep timer and playback speed—but doesn’t have Audible’s souped up features like car mode or bookmarks.
Though raw sales numbers are still small compared to print books, audiobooks are growing quickly, and the format is a bright spot for book publishing.