Limited edition Kobo Aura HD accounts for more than 1 in 4 Kobo eReaders
sold at retail
TORONTO, May 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Kobo, a global leader in eReading, today announced double-digit Q1
year-over-year growth across its device and content sales resulting in
a 98 percent growth in revenue. In the first quarter, the company grew
its user base by 2.5-million Readers bringing its total registered
users to 14.5-million with 15 percent of its new user base coming from
the US. At the same time, Kobo's customers are reading 34 percent more
in Q1 compared to the same time period last year.
"This is a massive $250-billion market and still in the early days of a
25-year transformation," said Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo. "At Kobo,
we're focused on people who are passionate about reading, who love
books, who want an experience that lets them get lost in words. Our
commitment to delivering the best content, devices and overall
experience anywhere in the world is attracting more Readers than ever
The limited edition Kobo Aura HD, launched last month, exemplifies the
climbing eReader category and Kobo's international trajectory. Named by
the Wall Street Journal as "The Best eReader" which "rivals the printed page," the Kobo Aura HD priced at $169 has accounted for up to 27 percent of
Kobo devices sold at retail with more than 50 percent of those
customers being new to Kobo. Currently available in the United Kingdom,
the United States, Canada, Italy and Germany, the Kobo Aura HD is
slated to arrive in Australia, France, the Netherlands and Brazil in
the coming months.
CONTENT IS KING, AND CONTINUES TO GROW
Kobo's eBookstore continues to grow with more than 500,000 new titles
already added this year and with new children's, manga, graphic novels
and magazine categories arriving this summer. From international
bestsellers like Dan Brown's Inferno and Khaled Hosseini's And the Mountains Echoed, to independent authors published through Kobo Writing Life, Kobo seeks
to meet the unique needs of its customers across 190 countries reading
in 68 languages.
Since its launch less than a year ago, Kobo Writing Life has firmly established itself as a launching pad for authors by
empowering them to quickly publish their work to an international
audience. Tens of thousands of authors from 124 countries have
self-published in 54 languages using Kobo Writing Life and there are
currently more than 100,000 Kobo Writing Life titles available for
purchase on Kobo.com. Sales of Kobo Writing Life titles now make up 10 percent of Kobo's
revenue with 10 percent of the top 50 bestseller list comprised on
"By making it easier for publishers and authors to publish new and
back-listed titles we are broadening the scope of content we are able
to bring to Readers around the world," said Mark Lefebvre, Director
Self-Publishing and Author Relations, Kobo. "By innovating within the
platform, Kobo delivers the most author-centric, intuitive and flexible
interface available on the market today."
GLOBAL STRENGTH, LOCAL EXPERIENCE
A unique differentiator for the company, Kobo continues its efforts to
work together with publishers, authors and booksellers of all sizes to
advance the transformation of print to digital in mutually beneficial
relationships. Its independent bookseller network now includes the
American Booksellers Association, Booksellers Association in the UK,
and the New Zealand Booksellers Association and together with its
territory partners, the Kobo eReading experience is now delivered
through more than 17,600 retail locations around the world.
The company, which will expand to India, China and Russia, intends to
continue its successful track record which has seen the company capture
significant international share in the competitive eBook market. For
example, Kobo is estimated by publishers to represent up to 50 of
digital sales in established countries like Canada and 20 percent in
new markets such as France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil.
"New countries or established ones, we go where the readers are. That's
what drives us," said Michael Tamblyn, Chief Content Officer, Kobo.
"And in each country we enter, we strive to give them a reading
experience filled with the best local authors and publishers, in
partnership with the best retailers, constantly pushing the boundaries
of what reading can be."
With its eReading devices available across North America at www.kobo.com, Kobo's experience is further made accessible with its iOS and Android
apps. In Q1, the Kobo Android app was downloaded millions of times
resulting in a 378 percent increase year over year. The company expects
to launch its eReading app for BlackBerry BB10 in June.
About Kobo Inc.
Kobo Inc. is one of the world's fastest-growing eReading services
offering more than 3.5-million eBooks, magazines and newspapers to
millions of customers in 190 countries. Believing that consumers should
have the freedom to read any book on any device, Kobo provides
consumers with a choice when reading. From its Family of eReaders,
which includes the Kobo Touch™, Kobo Mini, Kobo Glo, Kobo Aura HD and
Kobo Arc, to its free, top-ranked eReading applications for Apple®,
BlackBerry®, Android®, and Windows® products, Kobo ensures the next
great read is just a page-turn away. Headquartered in Toronto and owned
by Tokyo-based Rakuten, Kobo eReaders can be found in major retail
chains across the globe. For more information, visit www.kobo.com.
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SOURCE: Kobo Inc.
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