New Delhi: Amazon’s e-book reader, Kindle will now support content in five Indian languages, including Hindi, Gujarati and Malayalam, a move that will help the US-based firm tap into the niche but growing ‘digital regional content’ market in India.
“We are adding thousands of digital books in Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Gujarati and Malayalam, including the largest digital selection of best sellers, hundreds of exclusive titles and free classics to the Kindle Book Store,” Amazon Kindle Director (Content) Sanjeev Jha said.
Readers can access these books on Kindle eReaders as well as the free Kindle apps for Android and iOS, he added.
“Subscribers of Kindle Unlimited will also have access to the Indian language content. The new language selection is in addition to over three million books that are already available on the Kindle Book Store,” he said.
Kindle already supports languages like Chinese, German, French and Japanese among others, apart from English.
While Amazon does not share country specific growth numbers, Jha said India is among its fastest growing markets globally for Kindle.
Amazon will make available bestseller titles like ‘Ishq Mein Shahar Hona’ by Ravish Kumar (Hindi), ‘Rajaraja Chozhan’ by Sa Na Kannan (Tamil), ‘Mrutyunjay’ by Shivaji Sawant (Marathi), ‘Ek Bija Ne Gamta Rahiye’ by Kaajal Oza Vaidya (Gujarati) and ‘Aarachar’ by K R Meera (Malayalam).
The exclusive titles include ‘Banaras Talkies’ by Satya Vyas, ‘Ki.Mu.Ki.Pi’ by Madhanand, ‘Draupadi’ by Kaajal Oza Vaidya and titles like ‘Mayapuri’ by Shivani will now be available in digital format for the first time.
“We are bringing features like font size adjustment, ability to add notes and highlights, and automatic save and sync of your furthest page read across all your devices,” he said.
According to industry reports, the print book market in India is estimated to be worth about USD 4 billion. India ranks third in English language publishing, after the US and the UK.
India, which is one of the fastest growing smartphone markets globally, also has a significant number of people reading e-books on their phones.
While there is ample amount of content in English available online, that in Indian language has been few.
Companies like Google are taking a number of initiatives to increase penetration of regional content in the digital world.