It's like reading, but with unlimited books at a monthly fee, and with a snooping option.

Liang Hwei  |  Singapore
Published 2014-12-17 14:30:55

This article first appeared on Vulcan Post.

If you’re an avid reader living in Singapore, there is reason to celebrate. Bookmate, a subscription based social e-reading service that is currently present in London, Moscow, and Singapore, is coming to Singapore. To date, they have gathered 1.5 million active users, with over 500,000 titles in 9 different languages. That’s a lot of books.

This isn’t your usual e-book reader. The subscription based platform gives you the library you’ve always wanted for a fee. While the free plan only gives readers a limited number of titles, a standard tier priced at S$9.98 a month will offer most books in the library – something like a Spotify package for titles instead. A premium service at S$15.98 a month will give you unlimited access to all titles, regardless of price or language.

Image Credit: GoodReader
Image Credit: GoodReader

Its entrance into Singapore is accompanied with its exclusive partnership with Starhub, who will be engaging their customer base to help Bookmate penetrate Singapore’s local reading community and engage local publishers to offer their books on the platform.

Simon Dunlop, Founder of Bookmate, said, “Our mission is to make reading easy, accessible and fun for everyone with a smart phone. By expanding into Singapore, we have made a significant first step in increasing Bookmate’s footprint in Southeast Asia and thanks to our partnership with StarHub and their highly engaged customers we will be able to reach millions of new readers.”

Bookmate-StarHub launch (L to R): Simon Dunlop, Founder, Bookmate, Andrew Baev, Managing Director, Bookmate and Mr Michael Sim, Lead Futurist, i3 (Innovation, Investment, Incubation),
Bookmate-StarHub launch (L to R): Simon Dunlop, Founder of Bookmate, Andrew Baev, Managing Director of Bookmate and Mr Michael Sim, Lead Futurist, i3 (Innovation, Investment, Incubation),

This will be Bookmate’s first foray into Southeast Asia, so it makes sense to engage a local partner like Starhub to support them in their efforts to integrate into the local scene. Bookmate has also entered an agreement with HarperCollins earlier this year, which saw Bookmate add hundreds of new authors to the service. Perhaps we will see prominent Singapore authors like Catherine Lim and Alvin Pang enter the online service’s platform.

Image Credit: Bookmate
Image Credit: Bookmate

Bookmate not only operates by this subscription platform, it also has a social element, which allows you to check out what your friends in your circle are reading, or what the top trending books are.

This social element has been present in several music services like Spotify and Guvera, it would be interesting to see if social reading could take off as well. Perhaps this will bring about a revival of book reading to this modern age, as compared to certain apps that take the actual reading out of reading.


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