Rakuten Kobo expands digital reading offering in Italy with all-you-can-enjoy subscription service and Audiobooks, in partnership with Mondadori Store

  • First of its kind in Italy, single-point-of-access subscription allows Italians to synchronize eBooks and audiobooks bookmarks across Kobo eReader or Kobo App devices
  • Kobo Plus, the all-you-can-enjoy subscription service, offers hundreds of thousands of titles from Italian and international authors
  • With new Audiobook service offered by Kobo, booklovers can read or be read to on the Kobo App or latest eReader devices with Bluetooth® wireless technology

Global digital eReading leader Rakuten Kobo announced today the Italian launch of Kobo Plus, the all-you-can-read subscription giving booklovers unlimited access to hundreds of thousands of eBook and Kobo Audiobook titles for as little as €9,99 per month, in partnership with Mondadori Store, the largest network of bookshops in Italy.

Since launching their partnership in 2012, Rakuten Kobo and Mondadori Store have worked together to provide Italy’s best digital reading experience. Kobo Plus marks the first service in Italy to provide a combined reading and listening subscription offering at an affordable price and single point of access. Italian booklovers now have the opportunity to read or listen to their favourite stories within a single subscription on their Kobo eReader or through the Kobo App, all without having to worry about losing their place thanks to Kobo’s synchronized reading experience that keeps all eBooks and audiobooks seamlessly synced across all of a reader’s devices.

“Italy was the first country that taught us how to embrace digital reading to make reading lives better during the difficult times of the lockdown, and we have seen significant growth in digital reading as a result. It’s why we are so proud to be launching Kobo Plus here – it is our way of expanding on our commitment to Italy by making a great reading experience even better. The all-you-can-enjoy subscription allows Italian booklovers to explore new titles and genres risk-free, while also introducing them to Kobo Audiobooks and Kobo Originals selected and curated by skilled and committed book experts,” said Michael Tamblyn, CEO, Rakuten Kobo.

Tamblyn continued: “Our mission has always been to make the reading experience better and more accessible to everyone. By working with equally committed partners, like Mondadori Store, we can continue to connect more authors to more Italian readers.”

Kobo Plus is available in three subscription plans: Kobo Plus eBook for €9,99 per month; Kobo Plus Audio for €9,99 per month; or Kobo Plus eBook & Audio for €12,99 per month. All subscribers will receive a free 30-day trial, where booklovers can access the full Kobo Plus catalogue and switch between the three subscription plans to determine which is best for their needs.

“As the largest network of bookshops in Italy, our task is to intercept the new interests of readers, offering them also the possibility to access the most advanced forms of digital reading. We have done this with Kobo since its arrival on the Italian market, through our e-commerce site and our network of bookshops Mondadori Store. Since then, we have witnessed a transformation in the way content is used and in purchasing habits. Today we are delighted to renew this profitable partnership, which over the years has enabled us to reach an increasing number of readers and which today also extends to audiobooks, a segment that is recording very interesting growth rates,” declared Carmine Perna, managing director of Mondadori Retail.

To build the Kobo Plus catalogue, Rakuten Kobo worked with the Italian biggest publishers—including Mondadori Rizzoli, Einaudi, Sperling & Kupfer, Piemme e Mondadori Electa, Garzanti, Longanesi, Feltrinelli, and many others—along with the best Italian independent publishers, like Sur. The catalogue also features Kobo Originals, like Silvia Volpi’s Il silenzio dell’erba, and eBooks published through Kobo Writing Life—stories from Rakuten Kobo’s own publishing platform that allows authors to self-publish—as part of the subscription service.

The new Kobo Plus collection features a breadth of stories including literary classics and popular genre page-turners such as Ilaria Tuti’s Fiori sopra l’inferno; Ken Follett’s Kingsbridge novels, including as Pillars of the Earth; Non è la fine del mondo by Alessia Gazzola; and La guerra dei Courtney by Wilbur Smith, among many more. Other authors featured within the catalogue include Fabio Volo, Cristiana Capotondi, Melania Mazzucco, Gianrico Carofiglio and Alice Basso, while great actors like Anna Bonaiuto and Fabrizio Gifuni bring stories to life as narrators of Kobo Audiobooks.

In addition to hundreds of thousands of eBooks, Kobo Plus also offers a wide selection of Audiobooks, depending on your monthly subscription service. While Kobo Plus eBooks can be enjoyed with any eReader device, Kobo Audiobooks can be listened to on any smartphone or can be paired with the new Libra 2 or Sage eReader devices, which both feature Bluetooth® technology, allowing booklovers to read or listen to their favourite story.

Italian readers will be able to discover the features of the new devices and the Kobo Plus service in participating Mondadori Stores throughout Italy, ambassadors of culture and reading in all its forms.

At the same time, Mondadoristore.it is also expanding its offerings to include a new section dedicated to audiobooks, with over 4,000 Italian titles, from new releases to the great literary classics. At the time of purchase, users will be redirected to the Kobo site and with a few clicks you can start listening to a new story directly on your device (PC, tablet or smartphone), using the dedicated Kobo app.

Readers can also sign up for their subscription and free trial directly through kobo.com, the Kobo Android app or on a Kobo eReader. Kobo Plus launches in Italy November 4, 2021.
To learn more about Kobo Plus in Italy, visit kobo.com/koboplus.

About Rakuten Kobo Inc.
Rakuten Kobo Inc. is the world’s digital bookseller created by and for book lovers. Owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten Group, Inc. and headquartered in Toronto, Rakuten Kobo’s 58 million worldwide users can read any time, anywhere, and on any device. With a mission to make reading lives better for all, Rakuten Kobo connects readers to stories using thoughtful and personalized curation of eBooks and audiobooks, and the best dedicated eReaders and apps for reading. With the singular focus of making reading lives the best they can be, Kobo’s open platform allows people to fit reading into more moments in their busy lives.
To learn more about Rakuten Kobo, visit https://www.kobo.com/ca/it

About Mondadori Store
Mondadori Store is the largest network of bookstores in Italy: a cultural stronghold active throughout the country thanks to more than 500 stores spread from large cities to smaller towns, online with the e-commerce website Mondadoristore.it and the bookclub formula. Mondadoristore.it is at the side of readers and users through a proposal that, in addition to books, the heart of the offer, includes entertainment experiences, events and multi-channel services, reaching over 20 million customers every year.