New short-form subscription service to launch next year

New short-form subscription service to launch next year

German publisher Bastei Lübbe has revealed it is to launch an e-book subscription service targeting the mobile market called oolipo.

The subscription service will first soft-launch in the UK, USA, Germany, Austria and Switzerland in April 2016 with the aim of launching in July 2016 in two languages – English and German.

It will offer new, exclusive and series short stories and other short works only for a flat rate, aimed at the mobile and tablet reading market.

Chief product officer, David Mullins, said: “It is about time that we found new and complementary forms of storytelling. With oolipo, we will do exactly that: offer short, multimedia reading content at a flat rate to appeal to a global audience."

The company already has an e-book store called Beam, but has chosen to name its subscription service Oolipo because the name “Beam” could not be protected worldwide.

Bastei Lübbe, c.e.o Thomas Schierack, said: “We have therefore found a globally consistent and very catchy name for our innovative new service. We made a virtue out of necessity and found a new, strong and internationally appealing brand name.”

Bastei Lübbe is a publishing house headquartered in Cologne, employing 437 people across its group. It publishes books, audio books, e-books and digital products with fiction and popular science content, as well as periodical magazines in the form of novel booklets and puzzle magazines.

Oolipo has also been shortlisted for a Futurebook BookTech Award.

Two e-book subscription companies have recently announced their closure, casting doubt on the business model. US-based Oyster announced it would close early in 2016, despite raising $17m in funding, and Germany-based Blloon revealed on Friday (30th October) that it would also close the e-book subscription part of the company, and consider a “complete pivot” of the business.

Among the reasons given for the Blloon closure was a lack of publisher support, with companies like Penguin Random House declining to enlist their titles in subscription services.