Media giant Bertelsmann has marked its push into the European online book market by securing partnerships with Internet providers.
Books Online (BOL) will be the exclusive bookseller for AOL and Compuserve members in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Switzerland when it launches next year.
It will also have exclusive rights on Lycos Europe. Lycos will provide access and fixed links to BOL and its five country-specific sites from all of Lycos Europe?s platforms.
BOL promises to offer thousands of title in five languages to provide a service tailored to local preferences in reading, browsing and buying. It will target book lovers by offering editorial content and the ability to search for books by subject, author, or genre.
As late entrant to the online book market, Bertelsmann is looking to make up for lost time and this link up with AOL and Compuserve, will allow BOL to reach a vast audience quickly. BOL may have a tough job following Amazon?s European launch last month, but it does have the advantage of being an already known brand with a book club that boasts 25 million members worldwide.
For Compuserve Europe and its parent company AOL, the two-year deal is expected to be worth $13 million and offers opportunities beyond banner advertising into direct marketing. The partnership with Lycos Europe is for three years and is valued at more than $10 million.
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