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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Smart partners up with Summit Media for easy E-book downloads

Two industry leaders recently came together to forge a strategic alliance that will revolutionize the e-Book and e-Magazine landscape in the Philippines.

Philippine mobile leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) announced that it has signed an exclusive partnership with Summit Media (Summit), the country’s leading magazine publisher, to give the former’s subscribers easier and more convenient access to digital books and magazines via their mobile devices.

READING REVOLUTION. Two industry giants have forged a partnership to revolutionize e-Reading in the Philippines: leading publisher Summit Media and mobile leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) have joined forces to offer e-Books and e-Magazines via the former’s Buqo app using only the subscribers’ cellphone load.

In photo are (from left) Hand Interactive General Manager Chad Rosario, Summit Media President Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng, Smart Innovation and Product Development (IPD) Group Head Mellissa Limcaoco, and Smart IPD Senior Manager Blue de Venecia.

As a result of the tie-up, more than 56 million subscribers of Smart nationwide will gain access to books and magazines in digitized format through the mobile application called Buqo. Smart subscribers will be able to make 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,” said Mellissa B. Limcaoco, Head for Innovations & Product Development Group at Smart. “Now, they can use only their Smart prepaid and postpaid subscriptions as a key to the vast world of digital content available through Buqo.”

“The low credit card penetration in the Philippines has always been a barrier for companies offering virtual goods to Filipino consumers,” said Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng, President of Summit Media. “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 cellphone load.”

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.

Current titles available through the store include Yes! Magazine, Candy Magazine, Esquire Philippines, and a host of other Summit Media magazine titles. Titles from other publishers are also available, including the likes of Gadgets Magazine, PC Shopper, Car Finder, Speed Magazine, and Circuit Magazine, among many others.

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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