Monday, September 3, 2012

Ereader Marketplace Crowded But Lacking Competition

5 E-Readers But Only 2 Leaders & One Giant

Kobo, Inc. announced it has a deal with the American Booksellers Association to make ebooks available for sale with ABA’s 1600 members and their 2,000 stores, starting in October. Kobo replaces Google, Inc.

Amazon’s Kindle still outsells the other e-readers combined. No. 2 is Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and a distant third is Apple’s iBook store via the iPad. A fifth option is SONY’s e-reader but not many people own that device.

Can the book market remain carved up the way it is across the digital landscape or will something else shake it up? Who can be an impact player here?

I believe one day we will see the bigger publishers release their own ereader or strike a deal with a tablet-maker. It seems logical, especially as more big publishers are owned by conglomerates that may include technology companies. Maybe each publisher can sell the same unit but differentiate on price or on discounted book offerings of their own imprints.

For now, the digital revolution is owned largely by one or two companies and a few brand-name pretenders.  So far amazon owns about 60% of ebooks sales. B&N gets a little less than half of that. So about 10-13% of ebooks sales come from the others.

For the book industry to be healthy it will need more e-reader sellers and competitors.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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