At #LBF11: 24symbols – the Spotify Model for Books

In What's the Buzz by Roger Tagholm

By Roger Tagholm

Justo Hidalgo

Given that music is now “tasted” and explored through sites like Last FM and Spotify, why shouldn’t this model be applied to books? That is part of the reasoning behind 24symbols, the Madrid-based books site whose co-founder Justo Hidalgo is at the fair to outline his particular vision of the digital future.

“With 24symbols you can read e-books directly in the cloud, with no need to download, and from any device,” he says. “You can read for free — with non-intrusive or contextual ads — or you can pay a monthly, quarterly or yearly subscription which gives you access to a bigger book catalogue and some additional features.”

Hidalgo, who teaches Product Strategy and Innovation at Nebrija University in Madrid, launched the site a year ago and is adding new books every week. 24symbols has a social networking aspect and allows users to share books with friends. “Every readers with a Net-enabled device — desktop with browser, iPad, iPhone, Android smartphone or tablet — can be a 24symbols user.”

He believes its “fermium” model, and their approach, adapts the demand for e-book content to the modern day. “We don’t want the book industry to commit the same mistakes that the movie and music industries made and we think we can help by offering a new way to consume content, closer to what the digital world needs and requires. 24symbols offers new interactions with the reader and provides another way to promote books by using the site’s social and viral capabilities.”

Event: “24symbols: The Spotify Model for Books”
Time: Monday, 11 April at 2:00 pm
Place: Digital Zone Theatre, London Book Fair

Justo Hidalgo is co-founder of 24symbols, a platform that offers readers the ability to read and share digital books in the cloud, working in any reading device with internet connection and that gives users access to an international and multi-publisher’s catalogue. He also teaches Product Strategy and Innovation at the Master’s Degree in Industrial Design of Nebrija University, and Technology for Managers at the Nebrija Business School in Madrid, Spain.

About the Author

Roger Tagholm


Roger Tagholm is based in London and has been writing about the book industry for more than 20 years. He is the former Deputy Editor of Publishing News and the author of Walking Literary London (New Holland) and Poems NOT on the Underground (Windrush Press).