SingTel to close e-book service Skoob

SingTel to close e-book service Skoob

Summary: The telco will shut down its two-year-old e-book service from November. This comes just months after the closure of another similar service in Singapore by MediaCorp.

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Singapore's first e-book service, Skoob, will close in two months' time, after nearly two years since it was launched by SingTel. Sales will stop from September 24, and operations will cease from November 5.

"Despite a challenging market, we had a great run, and it wasn't an easy decision to make. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support," said Skoob, in an e-mail to customers.

Ä SingTel spokesperson told ZDNET that while the company had seen a steady response since Skoob's launch, it has decided to focus its resources on other parts of the business with stronger growth potential.

The Skoob app is currently rated 3 stars on Google's Play Store, with wide-ranging reviews. User Christina Yin cited better prices available for SingTel customers, but criticized the app's "buggy" interface.

SingTel
User reviews on Google's Play Store.

The Business Times noted SingTel had last year shut down its magazine app store, de!ite, which was less than two years old.

Skoob's impending closure follows just months after another local player bowed out. MediaCorp shut down its ilovebooks service in April, less than a year after starting it up. Other e-book services still available include rival telco StarHub's Booktique, which has a focus on supporting local writers.

skoob
SingTel's Skoob e-book service will close in November.

While the e-book services run on almost any smartphone or tablet, they faced intensifying international competition from the likes of Amazon and Kobo, which also tout their own e-readers.

Topics: E-Commerce, Telcos, SingTel

About

Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

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  • Disappointed yet again by SingTel, or should I say MediaCorp in general.

    There is really great demand in e-books. Yes, I am one of those who likes the tactile feel of a paperback but still there are advantages to being able to carry your entire bookcase in the same weight of your iPad, everywhere with you.

    Some ways that SingTel yet again fails to deliver is because they have no clue on what works for the customer.

    I like that my "buys" from the App Store are tagged to my ID, so that I can call-on my purchases again and again no matter how many times I restore my device and on multiple machines. Something I think SingTel fails to see the that convenience for the customer is king in this area.
    Simply, I would be paying only once for my content, ever.

    Another key area that really could see improvement is content. Desperately thirsty we are for international titles. To point that if I walked into MPH or Kinokuniya, would I be able to download as easily?

    Lastly, I do subscribe to Magzter's distribution of 8 Days but very reluctantly because the physical copy gets out to the stands much earlier, each and every week. Magzter has responded to me that this delay is due to the publishers' timeline. (MediaCorp).

    If digital reading is going to take off here, these issues really need to be addressed. I believe the residents here do read plenty, can and will spend but the offerings need to be contemporary, affordable and expedient.
    alondoo