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Medium acquires ebook company Glose

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It could be a powerful integration

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Medium has announced its acquisition of the social-based ebook company Glose. Glose is a platform where users can buy and read books, then share notes and highlights with friends. In the press release announcing the acquisition, Medium CEO Ev Williams says that the company “look[s] forward to working with the Glose team on partnering with publishers to help authors reach more readers.” However, as Engadget notes, once the integration is complete, Glose’s library “won’t be included in Medium’s $5 monthly and $50 annual subscriptions.”

What the integration between Glose and Medium will actually look like is still a little unclear. In an interview with CNN Business, Glose CEO Nicolas Princen raises the idea of readers being able to jump from an article into a book. “The vision is to create an experience where you can go from one to the next,” he says. “You can read an article and then just one-click purchase a book that connects to that content if you want to go deeper.”

There are a few ways a Glose/Medium integration could go about this. I’d like to imagine that Medium could show me books written by the author of the article I’m reading. Going even further, Medium could also find books about the article’s subject and show those to readers who want to go deeper.

As an avid reader myself, both those ideas are intriguing, and I’d love to see how it works in practice. Ev Williams also talked to CNN Business about making it easier to spin off a blog post from an inspiring book passage from Glose: “If I’m reading a book and some particular passage speaks to me, I can very seamlessly take that to my blog, maybe write about it, maybe have a discussion about it.”

While how much the acquisition cost Medium isn’t public, it does provide a revenue stream for the company outside of its subscription service. While it may be a struggle to convince people to pay to read shorter-form articles, many people are already accustomed to paying for books.

However Medium decides to integrate with Glose, one thing is clear — the company wants to be a formidable force in online reading, and it has just added 1.5 million books to its library.