Kobo has proclaimed that more people buy e-books on e-readers than smartphones and tablets. CEO Michael Tamblyn also reported that “Hardware is now a profitable business for us. Unlike some of the manufacturers who could never get the manufacturing or economics right, hardware made a profit in 2015.”
In an interview with Publishing Perspective Michael elborted on why people tend to consume more e-books one e-readers. “The kind of customer we get through a device is worth about 30% more than through a smartphone. Book libraries are bigger. These customers are more loyal. They tend to read faster. That’s because they are already a person who is predisposed towards doing more reading. We have a great business on iOS and Android, but we can see from the data that the experience is more fragmented. Reading times are shorter and it’s broken up by text messages or social media. It is a much less immersive experience than on an e-reader.”
Tamblyn also discusses the research they did into how new users liked to use e-books, which prompted Kobo to set up a telephone tech support program called “Kobo Welcome” to help people get started with their new e-reader and choose something they wanted to read. Tamblyn said it takes about 48 hours for a new e-reader user to get comfortable with the device, and the best way to get them to do that is get them reading a book they actually like.
via Publishing Perspectives