Kobo Inc. Reaches Millions in eReaders
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by BWW News Desk
Kobo Inc., a global leader in eReading, today announced that it has exceeded 2012 market forecasts, doubling device sales and attracting more than 4 million new customers within the last six months to bring its total to more than 12 million registered users. Contradicting forecasts claiming eReader sales would decline in 2012, Kobo's E Ink eReader sales were up nearly 150 percent in December, helping the company to carve out 20 percent of the global eReader market [source: DigiTimes]. In less than twelve months, the company launched three new eReading devices and further established its eReading services in new territories including Brazil, Portugal, Italy, Japan, Spain, South Africa, and the Netherlands this year. The annual growth and outstanding international performance culminated in Kobo users reading more than 22 million pages on Christmas Day.
"In December we celebrated Kobo's third anniversary as well as the biggest month for the company yet," said Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo. "Millions of new users registered with Kobo in December alone, annual device sales soared with millions of Kobo eReaders bought, and eBook sales nearly doubled from the previous year. 2012 was truly outstanding for our company and our network of booksellers and retailers around the world."
22 million pages were read with the company's open eReading platform.
English was the most common language read, followed by French and Japanese.
The most popular genre at Kobo is Romance. Canadians - perhaps as a result of their cold winters - top the charts as romantic fiction fans.
Fifty Shades of Grey and The Hunger Games dominated 2012 as the most read eBooks and most read eBook series, while the most downloaded Christmas classic was Clement Moore 's classic 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and Charles Dickens ' A Christmas Carol.
"We are seeing tremendous international opportunity to bring eReading to new markets, and help transform the industry through technology innovation," said Wayne White , EVP and GM of Devices, Kobo. "The transition from print to digital, the evolution of devices, the application of technologies, and the market adoption of eReading around world is in its infancy. Kobo's trajectory of growth reinforces that people want to read more - and on a variety of devices."
Italian, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Afrikaans, German, Spanish, and Catalan grew by nearly 200,000 titles with continued growth as new titles become available.
The company continues to work with leading publishers and authors to provide customers with the ability to pre-order 2013 titles such as Dan Brown 's Inferno.
"Kobo's self-publishing program has engaged a wide variety of publishers and authors to quickly publish new and back-listed titles with Kobo," said Mark Lefebvre , Director Self-Publishing and Author Relations, Kobo. "We've designed Kobo Writing Life to put the power of publishing into an author's hand without impeding them with hidden fees. It's the most flexible platform available today and as a result, 98 percent of our authors publish works internationally."
Sylvia Day , author of the hugely successful Crossfire series that started with Bared to You, self-published her Christmas short story Wish List with Kobo Writing Life, which quickly rose to the top of Kobo's charts, outselling the #2 title from Fantasy author BranDon Sanderson by a ratio of 2:1.
Top-selling Kobo Writing Life titles include:
Kobo Inc. is one of the world's fastest-growing eReading services offering more than 3 million eBooks, magazines and newspapers. Believing that consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device, Kobo has built an open-standards platform to provide consumers with a choice when reading. Inspired by a "Read Freely" philosophy and a passion for innovation, Kobo has expanded to 190 countries, where millions of consumers have access to localized eBook catalogues and award-winning eReaders, like the Kobo Touch. With top-ranked eReading applications for Apple, BlackBerry, Android, and Windows products, Kobo allows consumers to make eReading social through Facebook Timeline and Reading Life, an industry-first social experience that lets users earn awards for time spent reading and encourage others to join in. 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.