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[App Fridays] Airtel's new books app is taking on giants like Amazon Kindle, Google Play Books

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After several years of ruling the roost, Airtel is no longer India’s leading telecom network. In fact, it is not even the Number 2. Earlier this week, Reliance Jio rolled over it. (Vodafone-Idea, meanwhile, continues to lead the market.) What Airtel is struggling to do with conventional services - voice, messaging, data - it is attempting to make up with digital content.

Hence, Airtel Books. This is the telco’s latest offering that joins Airtel TV (movies and shows), Wynk Music (audio-streaming service), Wynk Tube (video-streaming service) in its content portfolio.

Airtel Books launched as an independent app on Android and iOS in early April. In a month, it has recorded more than 100,000 installs on Google Play Store, with a rating of 3.7 out of 5.

There are 70,000 ebooks on offer, including titles from both national and international publishers. More will be added soon, says the company. At present, only English and Hindi books are available. The content library is powered by Juggernaut Books, a Delhi-based startup in which Airtel acquired a stake in 2017.

Also Read: Amazon launches Kindle Lite, an India-first product for reading on slow networks

Unsurprisingly, Airtel subscribers can enjoy a 30-day free trial, and a one-time special access to any five ‘Paid’ titles from the Readers Club - the subscription-led component of the app - that houses a collection........

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