New Open Alternative To Kindle And Kobo: Vivlio’s Unique Approach To The E-Book Market


In the highly competitive e-book industry dominated by giants like Amazon and Rakuten, a small French company called Vivlio is carving out its own niche. With a team of only 35 people, Vivlio has managed to build an open European alternative to these tech giants, offering a distinct strategy and different goals.

Key Takeaway

Vivlio, a small French company, is challenging the dominance of Amazon and Rakuten in the e-book industry by offering an open alternative. By partnering with bookstores and retailers, Vivlio has created a unique ecosystem that prioritizes the interests of its partners and customers. With user-friendly e-books and dedicated e-book readers, Vivlio provides an attractive option for readers looking for an alternative to Kindle and Kobo.

A Unique Approach to the E-Book Market

Unlike Amazon and Kobo, Vivlio focuses on building a bookstore-agnostic e-book platform. The company has formed partnerships with various bookstores and retailers of cultural goods, creating a European coalition of companies with similar interests. By working closely with these partners, Vivlio ensures that the customer remains the retailer’s customer and leaves a substantial portion of the sales generated to the bookseller.

Transforming Bookshops into E-Book Sellers

Vivlio recognized the importance of bookshops in the book industry and aimed to leverage their existence rather than compete against them. By partnering with both small and big chain bookstores in France, Belgium, and Spain, Vivlio runs their e-book stores on their behalf. This unique approach allows bookstores to remain relevant in the digital age while benefiting from Vivlio’s e-book platform.

User-Friendly E-Books

In addition to selling e-books for its partners, Vivlio also provides e-book readers to enhance the reading experience. The company has partnered with PocketBook, an existing manufacturer, to offer dedicated devices that seamlessly integrate with the Vivlio ecosystem. These e-book readers have a user-friendly interface, sharp text display, long battery life, and customizable options.

A Contribution to an Open Ecosystem

In an effort to challenge the dominance of Adobe’s DRM system, Vivlio has contributed to Readium LCP, an open-source DRM solution. This move aligns with Vivlio’s commitment to an open ecosystem and provides users with a more streamlined and user-friendly DRM experience.

A Neutral Player in the Industry

Vivlio positions itself as a neutral player in the e-book industry, with Cultura as its main shareholder. The company aims to create an alliance of European partners and maintain a diverse capital structure. With hundreds of thousands of active users and room for growth, Vivlio proves that a small company can thrive in the e-book market by offering a unique and differentiated approach.

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