AkooBooks Audio, Ghana’s first publisher and streaming platform for Black and/or African audiobooks and other spoken-word content, will be relaunching its platform on October 20.
Described as a “multi-tiered, credit-based service” available on both Android and iOS, the AkooBooks platform is being designed as a pan-African service reaching consumers in at least 19 countries and allowing users to pay using their mobile wallets, the most common digital-payment form in most African countries.
AkooBooks’ new redevelopment as a platform is backed by the Bergen-based Beat Technology, a creative platform for European publishers and groups of publishers. A Beat platform allows publishers to sell and/or stream audio and ebook products to their own consumer bases.
The forthcoming “rebranded and reimagined” business will feature audiobooks, podcasts, and ebook titles in indigenous African and Ghanaian languages including Ga, Twi, andKiswahili, as well as curated content in English and French.
Nathan Hull, Beat’s chief strategy officer, stated, “Our platform, combined with the backing support of Ayoba.me and MTN—as well as a raft of other plans in the pipeline—means the all-new AkooBooks can get stories into the eyes and ears of millions of African citizens across the vast continent, all with zero-rated data. Removing data charges for African consumers accessing these large audio files was a crucial step in our planning.
“While available in multiple markets from the outset, the initial focus for onboarding customers onto the service will be Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Cameroon. After that, we’ll watch the data carefully to guide us on where our marketing attention goes next.”
AkooBooks will feature titles from presses including Ghana’s Afram Publications and Sub-Saharan Publishers, Nigeria’s Ouida Books, and major international works by writers including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Dorothy Koomson; and Michael Donkor from Harper Collins’ United States and United Kingdom catalogues, Macmillan UK, WF Howes, and RB Media.