- Subscription for only 9.99 euros per month, with a no-obligation free trial period of one month
- Exclusive audiobooks by prestigious authors such as Michel Bussi, Frank Thilliez and Alice Zeniter 

Paris, April 5, 2018 – Kobo by Fnac is proud to announce the launch of its audiobook service in France, revealing another dimension of reading and giving booklovers the opportunity to experience the joy of being told a story.

For only 9.99 euros per month with a no-obligation free trial period of one month, customers will benefit from an international catalog of audiobooks with more than 100,000 titles, including 5,000 French-language titles. This subscription allows listeners to download one audiobook per month, regardless of the list price; subscribers can also purchase a 3-pack of credits for 29.99 euros if they want to enjoy more than one book during the month. Booklovers who do not want to subscribe can buy audiobooks à la carte.

With the Kobo by Fnac reading app, people can store their ebooks and audiobooks in one place, making it easy to find their favorite stories in the format of their choice.

A New Partnership

To reach the largest number of French booklovers, a partnership has been created between Rakuten Kobo, market leader in digital reading, Fnac, the number one bookseller in France, and Orange, the leading French telecom company. This partnership enables Orange customers to subscribe to the Kobo by Fnac audiobooks service with their existing Orange account credentials, with the first month free, with subsequent charges appearing on their monthly Orange bills. Orange customers will also be able to purchase audiobooks à la carte, as well as choose from millions of eBooks, which they can choose to have billed monthly as well.

Exclusive Audio Titles

Readers can choose audiobooks from across all genres, from bestsellers to literary fiction, mystery to romance, and exclusive Kobo by Fnac content, such as the latest work by Alice Zeniter, "Just before forgetting", Sandrine Collette’s "Steel knots” and Laure Manel’s "The delicacy of lobster", Michel Bussi’s "Do you remember my Anaïs" and Frank Thilliez’s "Vertigo" will also be available via Lizzie, the new audio brand of publisher Editis. Exclusive audiobooks will be added regularly, with 50 new exclusives available by the end of the year.

Booklovers Enjoy Stories in a New Way

In an increasingly busy world, booklovers want to find time for books during more parts of their day— and audiobooks are here to help. In fact, per a 2017 Ipsos survey, 18% of French people said they have listened to an audiobook, and 21% said they are interested in trying the format. The survey also revealed that 45% of people are interested in audiobooks so they can do two things at once, as laundry or exercising, 40% while driving/travelling, and 31% want to enjoy their favourite narrators for the emotion they bring to the story.

 “There will always be more books than time, and audiobooks allow readers to enjoy their favourite stories during more parts of their day, while doing laundry, picking up the kids from soccer practice, or driving to work,” says Michael Tamblyn, CEO of Rakuten Kobo. “We launched Kobo audiobooks in select countries last year to great reception, and are pleased to offer the service to Kobo by Fnac customers with exclusive French content we know they will love.”

Jean-Marc Dupuis, Director of Rakuten Kobo France, adds: “The international digital audiobook business is experiencing double-digit growth year over year, and several studies show that France is a very promising next market. The partnership with Orange is especially significant, since most users prefer to listen to audiobooks on their mobile phones while commuting or doing other tasks. Indeed, being able to immerse yourself in the world of books while doing other things is becoming increasingly attractive, and we are proud to be offering this new service to enable people to enjoy even more of their favourite books.”

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About Rakuten Kobo

Owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten and headquartered in Toronto, Rakuten Kobo Inc. is one of the world’s most innovative eReading services offering more than 5 million eBooks and audiobooks to millions of customers in 190 countries. Believing that consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device, Kobo provides people with a choice when reading. Kobo offers an eReader for everyone with a wide variety of E Ink eReaders to suit any Reader’s style including Kobo Aura, Kobo Aura H2O, and Kobo Aura ONE; along with the company’s free top-ranking eReading apps for Apple® and Android®. Kobo’s award-wining eReaders can be found in major retail chains around the world. For more information, visit www.kobo.com.

Media Contact

René d’Entremont
Rakuten Kobo Inc.
Director, Public Relations
rene.dentremont@rakuten.com