Kobo introduces audiobooks to its mobile e-reading repertoire

Not everyone’s got the time to read these days, a trend which is prompting something of a return for oral storytelling – just not in the traditional sense.

With audiobooks becoming increasingly popular and accessible thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones, ebook giant Kobo has finally decided to take on Kindle's Audible audiobook service, integrating an audio player into its free iOS and Android apps along with access to a range of audiobooks.

The Canadian company says audiobooks can be purchased as a one off or, as with Audible, users can opt for a monthly subscription at a cost of US$9.99/£6.99/AU$12.99 a month.

Listen up

Subscribers to the audiobook service will be provided with a credit each month, which can be exchanged for any title from the 1.5 million-large catalogue, no matter the actual price of the book.

And like Amazon's Audible, there's a 30-day trial period before the payments will kick in, unless you cancel the service if you’re not happy with it.

Additionally, customers can earn Kobo Super Points on their subscription fees or purchases that can be redeemed for any outright Kobo purchase, with the minimum points required being 2,400.

Once a title is selected, the built-in audio player will give users control over the speed of narration, with an automatic switch-off timer option for those who listen to stories at bedtime.

The service launches today in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, Sharmishta's main priority is being TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor, looking after the day-to-day functioning of the Australian, New Zealand and Singapore editions of the site, steering everything from news and reviews to ecommerce content like deals and coupon codes. While she loves reviewing cameras and lenses when she can, she's also an avid reader and has become quite the expert on ereaders and E Ink writing tablets, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about these underrated devices. Other than her duties at TechRadar, she's also the Managing Editor of the Australian edition of Digital Camera World, and writes for Tom's Guide and T3.