Smart, Summit Media tie-up offers e-magazines, e-books on mobile app

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Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) said it has signed an exclusive partnership with publisher Summit Media to give Smart subscribers easier and more convenient access to digital books and magazines via their mobile devices.

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The two industry leaders recently agreed on a strategic alliance that seeks to revolutionize the e-book and e-magazine segment of the publishing industry in the country.

The tie-up will give more than 56 million subscribers of Smart nationwide access to books and magazines in digitized format through the mobile application called Buqo. Smart subscribers may do digital downloads using their prepaid credits or have them charged on top of their postpaid accounts.

“With this groundbreaking partnership, we are giving our subscribers a chance to enjoy unique and relevant digital content on their mobile devices,” Mellissa Limcaoco, head of the Innovations and Product Development Group at Smart, said in a statement.

Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng, president of Summit Media, cited the partnership between her company and Smart that will offer subscribers wider access to their publications’ content.

“The low credit card penetration in the Philippines has always been a barrier for companies offering virtual goods to Filipino consumers,” she said.

“By partnering with Smart, we lower the barrier to entry and give more users access to a wide range of content that can be unlocked using only their cell phone load,” she added.
Smart will soon be announcing special rates and deals for books and magazines that will be exclusively available to its subscribers.

Buqo is the localized version of Ookbee, the number one e-bookstore app in Thailand, and was co-developed by Summit subsidiary Hand.Interactive, Inc.

The Buqo mobile app with Smart operator billing is currently available for Android devices. Books and magazines downloaded through the app are readable both on smartphones and tablet devices.

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