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Ebook company Kobo set to go head-to-head with Audible in the audiobooks market

Kobo Aura One ebook reader
Image used with permission by copyright holder
You can finally look beyond Audible if you’re in the market for an audiobook. This week, Canadian company Rakuten Kobo, known for its ebook readers and library, expanded its offerings by diving into the audiobooks marketplace. So if turning physical pages is too much for your fingers and reading epaper screens is too much for your eyes, rest assured that you can still consume literature thanks to this new service.

Subscriptions to the new service start at $10 a month, or more casual readers (or listeners) have the choice of buying titles a la carte. Promising books across a wide range of genres, including bestsellers like Into the Water by Paula Hawkins, Truly Madly Guilty by Lianne Moriarty, and the Harry Potter series; Kobo notes that its expansive library could make a bibliophile out of just about anyone.

“We have more books than time, always. Audiobooks let our readers fit the books they love into more parts of their day,” Rakuten Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn said. “Audio lets you be in two places at once — exploring the galaxy on the daily commute, solving a crime while doing the laundry, or wherever you want your favorite story to take you.”

Tamblyn continued: “Last year, we built the Kobo Aura ONE eReader with the help of our best customers, and our new offering is no different. What we unequivocally heard was that they wanted the best deal on audiobooks, and we are pleased to offer the lowest subscription price available.”

Both audiobooks and ebooks from Kobo can be accessed via the Android or iOS app in an intuitively designed player. You can easily swipe through an audiobook and keep tabs on exactly where you are in a narrative. Plus, Kobo promises that you can see how much time is left in a book at a glance, and also select your narration speed. If you tend to use audiobooks as lullabies, you can even set books to turn off after a set amount of time so you’re lulled to sleep by a reader, but won’t snore through major plot points.

Like other services, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial of Kobo audiobooks, and also download your first audiobook for free.

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