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Aldi to start selling ebooks in Germany

Aldi will launch its own e-book service in Germany. With about one million books, the discounter still remains behind Amazon and Tolino. The new service is expected to kick off on October 20th.  After venturing in music streaming and blogging Aldi dares the next step into the digital world. Just in time for the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest publishing event, the German discounter is launching its e-book service. This is a joint offer of Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord and starts with a good one million paid and free books.

By comparison, 4.5 million e-books are available on Amazon, 450,000 of them in German. And the Tolino Alliance founded in 2013 by bookstores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, counts to two million electronic books. Despite this strong competition, the Aldi offer is not intended as a niche product. Rather, it underscores the company’s approach to digital supplementary services.

While Aldi in Switzerland continues to be perceived primarily as a supermarket chain with a focus on food, the digital change in Germany is in full swing. “Together with Aldi Nord, we have been offering various offers in the online sector for several years with our services such as Aldi Blumen, AldiTalk, Aldi Reisen and AldiLife,” says a spokeswoman for Aldi Süd.

A year ago Aldi started the streaming service AldiLife Music powered by Napster. Aldi charges 7.99 euro a month for about 40 million songs and 15,000 Audiobooks in Germany. In terms of price, Aldi and the music service are able to undercut the bulk of the competition – such as Spotify – by around € 2.

The content strategy of Aldi is useful for two reasons, writes the German trade journal Horizont: First, with digital offers a younger clientele is brought to the brand. Secondly, the company is thus building a digital customer base, which could become very valuable in the case of any entry into the general online trade.

Aldi is already in a different position in Switzerland than in Germany. With 180 branches, the core business is backed by the market leaders Migros and Coop. At the moment, Aldi wants to expand the branch network and move into the centers from the periphery, where most stores are now located.

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