Global retail major Walmart has teamed up with Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten to introduce a new platform, Walmart eBooks by Rakuten Kobo.
The new eBook, audiobook and eReader solution allows Walmart customers in the US to access a catalogue of more than six million books.
Both the companies will offer the content through a co-branded free app available for iOS and Android devices, as well as through Kobo eReaders platform offered in select stores and on Walmart.com.
Rakuten group executive vice-president Makoto Arima said: “The launch of Walmart eBooks by Rakuten Kobo marks a milestone for our strategic alliance.
“Walmart is one of the world’s largest booksellers and we’re excited to bring even more selection and value to book lovers across the US.”
Walmart and Rakuten formed a strategic alliance in January to offer e-books and audiobooks in the US.
Both companies are expanding the reach of Walmart eBooks to customers through various initiatives in Japan and the US.
Walmart is also offering a new monthly audiobook subscription service through the platform for $9.99 per month to customers, which provides access to one audiobook per month.
As part of the partnership, the retailer will also enable customers to purchase digital book cards in 3,500 stores starting this week.
Walmart eCommerce US entertainment general manager Mario Pacini said: “Working with Kobo enables us to quickly and efficiently launch a full eBook and audiobook catalogue on Walmart.com alongside our assortment of physical books. Ultimately, this is about giving our customers another way to access books.”
Rakuten has also partnered with Japanese subsidiary of Walmart, Seiyu GK, for its online grocery delivery service, Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper.