Kobo is officially celebrating its third anniversary of its digital book and e-reader divisions. The company announced today 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. On the worldwide stage, Kobo now controls around 20% of the entire e-reader market and is poised to continue its accelerated growth patterns in 2013.
“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 e-readers 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.”
Kobo had a very solid year with the expansion into Brazil, Portugal, Italy, Japan, Spain, South Africa, and the Netherlands. It delivers localized experiences by giving customers the ability to buy bestsellers in their own language. The company also unveiled its self-publishing platform Writing Life, which gives authors the ability to sell ebooks in every single market where Kobo actively markets ebooks. To further accelerate development of this platform, it acquired Aquafadas, which will eventually allow people to publish comics and graphic novels. One of the cool aspects is that you can set different prices in each country and get real-time analytics on buying behaviors. Finally, 2012 marked the first year where Kobo issued three new devices at once, with the Kobo Glo, Mini, and ARC.
What is Kobo’s plans for 2013? This year, it will continue its quest to become the best e-reading service in the world—look for Kobo to continue its global expansion through booksellers and retailers of all sizes, becoming active in Russia, India, and China, to name a few. Innovative new E Ink and tablet e-readers will join the Kobo Family and the company will continue to work with publishers and authors to introduce a range of new content categories for consumers.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.