Monday, February 10, 2014

SONY Vacates EBook Business

The book world is now seeing consolidation in the digital book market, though SONY’s latest move to hand its eReader customers to Kobo is not necessarily the start of a trend.

SONY is hurting all around. Its TV division has lost eight billion over the past decade and it is ending 17 years in the PC business by selling off its PC arm. Now it’s given up on the eReader business in the US and Canada.

The e-book market in America is dominated by Amazon’s Kindle, with B&N’s Nook a respectable second. Apple is in the mix too. SONY fell well behind and Kobo hasn’t quite surged the way it had hoped to.

I’ve never had the desire to read an e-book. When you stare at a computer screen all day and night, it’s refreshing to touch, see, and smell paper. Those who have embraced e-books should enjoy them. I’m just a paper dinosaur.

SONY’s e-book demise shows how competitive the book industry is. The products are low-priced and available everywhere, so competition for the sale is fierce. Profits are small.

Will this latest move help or hurt the industry? For the short-term, no changes are seen. In the long-term, Kobo has now increased its market share and gets elevated by this. Someone needs to challenge Amazon in a big way – to keep it in check. For now, by Kobo growing, it’s a step in the right direction, but it does leave the industry with few players in the marketplace.


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, 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. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014.

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