World’s most popular romance novels now on biNu as platform opens for content owners, publishers and developers
22 March 2013, London, UK and Sydney Aus: Harlequin (UK) Ltd, one of the world’s leading publishers, today announced a partnership with biNu to make its portfolio of over 8700 books, most notably Mills & Boon romance novels, available for purchase by biNu’s 5 million active members around the world directly on their mobile phone.
biNu is fast becoming the most important rich content delivery platform for developing markets where mobile phones are the primary connected device and tablets, eReader and even paperback penetration is low. Optimized for a wide range of feature phones and low end smartphones widely used in Asian, Africa and South American territories, the biNu Platform is 10 times faster than standard mobile browsers, providing fast and affordable access to Facebook, YouTube and over 100 other channels, now including eBooks, via mass-market mobile devices. Its unique compression technology makes data services both fast and affordable, while providing a high-end smartphone-like user experience.
The Harlequin-biNu partnership comes as biNu opens its Platform to third party content owners, publishers and developers, allowing them to leverage the underlying technology to build and distribute smartphone-like apps on lower end phones. Opening the platform creates opportunities for companies who have traditionally targeted first world markets to expand their reach to the 5 billion people in the world who don’t have high-end smartphones.
Harlequin UK is the first publisher to take part in this groundbreaking initiative, which will enable biNu members in India, Africa and other growth markets to purchase and download world-leading romantic fiction from a Mills & Boon branded shop within the biNu app. Books can be purchased using biNu credits, which were added to the platform late 2012.
Tim Cooper, Commercial Director for Harlequin (UK) believes that introducing Harlequin’s books to growth markets is an important facet of the Harlequin strategy. He says: “We’ve already established a successful print business around the world, but it is our aim to continue to find ways to make our content available where women are across the world in easy and accessible ways. Working with biNu has created a real opportunity for us to reach women in global markets who don’t have access to high end tablet or smartphone technology, with the biNu feature phone application we will be at the heart of their reading experience.”
Gour Lentell, biNu co-founder and CEO added: “Opening the biNu Platform to partners is a significant opportunity for any organization looking to reach the so-called ‘next billion’ users. The key for adoption in the developing world is to provide a high-quality user experience that is fast and affordable, which until now has not been possible on the lower end phones that still dominate in these markets. There is an immense hunger for books, and particularly romance fiction, so the Harlequin library of iconic literature are a great addition to the Platform.”
Harlequin has been at the forefront of digital publishing for 5 years with its lead imprints Mills & Boon, MIRA and MIRA Ink. The UK business already has 100% of its frontlist portfolio available in digital formats and has experienced dramatic growth in eBook sales over the past five years as consumers switch to reading on eReaders, tablets and other mobile devices.
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About Harlequin (UK) Ltd
Harlequin UK is one of the world’s leading publishers of books for women, with titles issued worldwide in 34 languages and sold in 114 international markets. The company publishes more than 100 titles monthly and more than 1,200 authors from around the world under imprints such as Mills & Boon, MIRA, MIRA Ink and others.
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biNu is a privately held company that develops the biNu mobile app platform which dramatically improves Internet access speed, usability and social connectivity of mobile phones. With biNu, even basic mobile phones exhibit high‐end smartphone‐like capabilities. biNu works on the thousands of Java-enabled and Android devices and supports millions of users globally with rapid adoption rates in emerging economies where mobile phones are the primary Internet access device. Today, over 100 channels are available via biNu including social media, search, reference, books, SMS, news, weather and entertainment.
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