Friday, July 21, 2006

Audiobooks for phones

Bokilur is Swedish for book on phone. And the company offers exactly that: audiobooks for cellphones.
To get started, customers download and install a piece of Java-based software, that's compatible with over 40 phones (both 3G and GPRS). They can then use the software's interface to browse available titles, and listen to two minutes of each book for free, before deciding to download.
Books are usually split into 5 parts, each of which costs SEK 30 (USD 4.10/EUR 3.25), and is between 50 and 150 minutes long. Payment is processed through the user's normal phone bill. Available titles include popular fiction, literature, children's books, business titles and language courses. The latter two are slightly more expensive than books from the other categories.
For consumers, downloading on the go is far more convenient than downloading to a non-phone mp3 player, does away with the need to carry multiple devices, and allows for spontaneous downloads. Perfect for passing the time while waiting for a delayed flight, or stuck in a traffic jam. Besides audiobooks, Bokilur recently also started offering comic books. Smart move, considering the natural fit between a comic's image panel and a cell phone screen.
Bokilur definitely benefits from 3G bandwidth being cheap in Sweden, which has made for far wider adoption of mobile services than in countries where mobile downloads are prohibitively expensive. One to partner with and localize! Get there before the big audiobook sellers do

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