Last year, the media conglomerate Grupo Gol launched an innovative cloud-based library with 3,000 books that can be accessed by clients for R$0.99 per week. Named Nuvem de Livros, the initiative is backed by Vivo, the telephone company owned by the Spanish Telefonica, which is the leading mobile carrier in Brazil with more than 75 million mobile users.
Now, Claro, a subsidiary of the telecom group América Móvil, is investing in a similar initiative — although less ambitious than Nuvem de Livros — which aims to be a complete source for educational and entertainment digital content for users. Claro Leitura was launched last week in Brazil, offering a subscription that allows readers to download up to three books per week per for R$3.99 (US$1.94). The company has 61 million mobile users.
A total of ten publishers are participating in the project, with 1,500 titles in 11 different categories, such as arts, biography, literature, children’s literature, self-help and social sciences. “In a survey of smartphone users, we discovered that 57% of them use their devices for reading, and the launch of this service caters to this demographic,” said Fiamma Zarife, director of aggregated value services at Claro, in a statement released by the company on June 14th.
The e-books are provided by the digital aggregator Xeriph. The aim is to increase both the number of publishers involved and titles available, says Duda Ernanny, executive director and founder of Xeriph. “This is something very, very new to publishers, so we decided to begin with ten. Our aim, however, is to offer as much content as possible and to include two or three new partners every month,” he adds. Today, Xeriph offers 10,000 e-book titles from 200 publishers and is considered the largest aggregator in Brazil.
The service app is compatible with Android smartphones and tablets. Claro expects to launch apps for other operating systems soon. The service allows readers to download files and, therefore, access them even when they aren’t connected to the internet. Nuvem de Livros, on the other hand, only allows online reading.