Telefonica started selling its e-reader, “Movistar Ebook bq”, created in partnership with Mundo Reader, last summer. Now the company will be partnering with Planeta to expand its offering. “Telefonica will provide the technology and distribution, while Planeta will offer the content,” says Carlos Domingo, head of Telefonica’s product development, quoted by Bloomberg.
Telefonica and Planeta are both major players. Telefonica, which owns Movistar, O2 and Vivo, has a presence in countries across Europe and Latin America, as well as an alliance with China Unicom. It claims 299 million customers and 46, 672 million euros in revenues as of September last year.
Planeta states that it is the seventh largest publisher in the world, with over 100 imprints that publish in Spanish, French, Portuguese and Calatan. According to the company’s website, it’s the leading publisher in Spanish and Latin American markets, and the second biggest in France.
As part of the new deal, content from Grupo Planeta will first be made available in Spain, and later expanded to Latin America. Luis Miguel Gilperez, head of Telefonica in Spain, told Bloomberg, “we are preparing different projects using Spain as a platform to launch them.” A timeline has not yet been set for the release.
There is no doubt that the market for e-readers and tablet devices is growing. Even in economically depressed Spain, Bloomberg reports that Mundo Reader has forecast that the market for e-readers will grow from 11 million purchased in 2010, to 72 million in 2014.
However, while the potential is big, it remains to be seen whether Telefonica and Planeta can take on Amazon, which is expanding at a fast rate. PaidContent reported last month that Amazon may launch Kindle in Brazil and Japan this year.