Medium Acquires French Book Reading App Startup, Glose

By Thomas Price Saturday, January 23, 2021

Without the availability of so many entertainment options such as concerts, going to the movies, theme parks, or for some, even retail malls, books have been making a major comeback over the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect so many aspects of life. However, reading has also become a social event with the advent of the French startup Glose which has developed an app that serves not simply as a digital library but much more. This has caught the eyes of Medium, who has recently acquired the startup. Considering the company’s recent acquisition, how does Glose work, why did Medium acquire the business, and what can be expected from both companies in the near future?

Glose’s Features and Platform

Glose, at its core, is a Paris-based e-reading startup. The company has access to a library of over 1 million books that users can purchase or rent at any time and read in its entirety. The startup has all of this material available to its users on their app, where it can be downloaded on both Android and iOS devices. What makes this app unique for Glose’s business is the number of other features that have in turn made the product not simply an e-reading app but a complete social experience.

The company has built in a number of features that work to increase user engagement, not just with the text but also with other users who may be reading or have read the same work in the past. With features such as streak counts, reading rewards, saving highlights, and in-text discussion, the startup has created a reading app that incentivizes consistency and interaction. Outside of Glose’s use as a personal app, the startup has also launched Glose Education, which has been designed for use by high school and college-level students and teachers.

These features have led to the startup seeing strong business growth in multiple manners. In fact, the startup has garnered over 1 million users since its launch. Furthermore, Glose Education has also seen 25 different universities, including Stanford and Columbia, sign up for their service. Perhaps most importantly, though, is the news that the startup is partnering with a whopping 20,000 different publishers, bringing major access to so many different texts both as digital books and as audiobooks.

Medium’s Acquisition of Glose

Due largely in part to the partnership with 20,000 publishers, Medium has acquired Glose for an undisclosed amount of money. Medium plans to use Glose’s business offerings to expand their own output beyond articles and blog posts. They can also host all writers’ books on their own website if they have been published through other avenues. By providing accessibility to books through different sources, Medium will become a larger host of content which would be inherently more valuable to their readers.

When commenting on this recent acquisition, Medium CEO Ev Williams said, “With Glose, we want to improve that experience within Medium’s large network of engaged readers and writers. We look forward to working with the Glose team on partnering with publishers to help authors reach more readers.”

About the Author

Headshot for author Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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