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Old 05-31-2013, 07:57 AM   #1
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Kobo Grows Customer Base by 2.5M in Q1

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Toronto-based Kobo Inc. grows customer base by 2.5M in Q1

TORONTO -- Kobo Inc. says its e-reader customer base grew by 2.5 million in the first quarter despite weak predictions for the digital book industry.

The Toronto-based, Japanese-owned e-reader company says it now has 14.5 million registered users, with 15 per cent of its new users coming from the United States.

Kobo's customers were also reading 34 per cent more in the first quarter compared with the same time period last year.

Sales of the new Kobo Aura HD accounted for more than one in four eReaders sold at retail stores and sales of Kobo Writing Life self-publishing titles made up 10 per cent of revenue.

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/toron...#ixzz2Us2UdCQd
It looks like the Aura is a run away success helping the company to grow.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:06 AM   #2
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Yeah, but 9 out of 10 of those "registered users" are registered just for their trivia contests.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:56 AM   #3
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The registration for the trivia contests are not Kobo registrations--which is why I have to register separately for each contest I enter. Oh, were you making a funny?
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:01 AM   #4
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There has actually been a fair amount of Kobo coverage in association with Book Expo America. See http://www.digitalbookworld.com/?s=kobo&submit=Search
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:03 AM   #5
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But the Aura was released late April. Isn't it Q2?
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:11 AM   #6
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The registration for the trivia contests are not Kobo registrations--which is why I have to register separately for each contest I enter. Oh, were you making a funny?
You got me on the trivia contest. It's easy to loose track of what you are registered at Kobo for.

How about: 9 out of 10 of those "user registrations" are for customers registering to take advantage of discount codes.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:53 AM   #7
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Well, they seem to be making money off those discount shoppers.

From GIGaom on May 28

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In addition, Kobo says its revenue grew by 98 percent in the first quarter of 2013, compared to this time last year. During the quarter , it says it “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 U.S.” That last point is important, as it suggests the Toronto-based Kobo is making some progress in cutting into a U.S. e-reader market dominated by Amazon and, in a distant second place, Nook.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:21 PM   #8
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Well, they seem to be making money off those discount shoppers.

...
I guess it would depend on your definition of "making money". Notice that they say "revenue" and make no mention of profits.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:42 PM   #9
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I guess it would depend on your definition of "making money". Notice that they say "revenue" and make no mention of profits.
True enough!

Edit: When Kobo was sold to Rakuten, back in 2011 (for 315 M.), one of the reasons Kobo and Chapters Indigo representatives gave for the sale was that the push to get Kobo into multiple international markets and to grow was so expensive that keeping it independent was just not an option.

I wonder if it is making money at all at this point, or merely positioning itself to be a player in developing markets.

Last edited by taming; 05-31-2013 at 02:46 PM. Reason: See the edit--it's new
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:03 PM   #10
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True enough!

Edit: When Kobo was sold to Rakuten, back in 2011 (for 315 M.), one of the reasons Kobo and Chapters Indigo representatives gave for the sale was that the push to get Kobo into multiple international markets and to grow was so expensive that keeping it independent was just not an option.

I wonder if it is making money at all at this point, or merely positioning itself to be a player in developing markets.
Rakuten released 2012 financials where they lost well over $1 Billion in their North American market. Much of it was due to restructuring and goodwill. They lost a hefty amount from their UK operations. The company as a whole did well in 2012 as opposed to 2011 where they reported a company wide loss. There was no breakdown into how Kobo performed in the press release.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:12 PM   #11
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Rakuten released 2012 financials where they lost well over $1 Billion in their North American market. Much of it was due to restructuring and goodwill. They lost a hefty amount from their UK operations. The company as a whole did well in 2012 as opposed to 2011 where they reported a company wide loss. There was no breakdown into how Kobo performed in the press release.
Yeah, I think we are just now seeing them move into No. America more aggressively. Their Canadian website still sucks, but rakuten.com is showing some new growth and design changes. I guess we will see.

I don't expect them to sell current kobo devices through rakuten. They are using the partner model for that, it seems. I believe we discussed that at some length in an earlier thread.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:23 AM   #12
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You may be right, but it's crazy and a shame if so.

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I don't expect them to sell current kobo devices through rakuten. They are using the partner model for that, it seems. I believe we discussed that at some length in an earlier thread.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:59 AM   #13
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Well, if they are serious about wanting to use indie bookstores in the US, FNAC in France etc as true partners, not competing through rakuten makes some sense. Selling devices on the kobo website, especially if it continues to be problematic, perhaps less so.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:38 AM   #14
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I hear you, but frankly, I think independent bookstores are pretty much doomed. I say that without any joy whatsoever.

I would love to see someone take on the Amazon juggernaut at least when it comes to ebooks. I actually shop pretty regularly at Amazon, but I was completely underwhelmed by the Paperwhite.

It just seems really odd that when I look online for a Glo, which I am contemplating for my wife, as she finds the Aura a bit large for her hands, there's basically nowhere to buy it, outside of the Kobo store.

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Well, if they are serious about wanting to use indie bookstores in the US, FNAC in France etc as true partners, not competing through rakuten makes some sense. Selling devices on the kobo website, especially if it continues to be problematic, perhaps less so.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:32 AM   #15
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It just seems really odd that when I look online for a Glo, which I am contemplating for my wife, as she finds the Aura a bit large for her hands, there's basically nowhere to buy it, outside of the Kobo store.
I don't know where you live, but in my US hometown the Indie bookstore I always used when I lived there has the Kobo Glo.
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