Rakuten Kobo is reaching profitability, sales are up and during the past three months the company has signed up 2 million new users. It is readily apparent that the global pandemic and the closure of most bookstores across the world are driving up ebook adoption.
Partnerships have always been one of the key successes of Kobo. In late March they announced a strategic alliance with Australia’s largest online bookseller, Booktopia. This agreement will see Rakuten Kobo become Booktopia’s exclusive digital reading partner, providing eBooks, audiobooks and eReaders to Booktopia’s Australian customers.
Kobo is not resting on their laurels, although their digital sales are up, they are working on a series of ebook readers that will be released later this year. The company has attained FCC certification on a new device called the Kobo Nia. It was designed to be an entry level e-reader, similar to the Kobo Aura Edition 2 or the Kobo Glo. It will be priced likely under $100 and will feature a six inch screen with 300 PPI and an adjustable front-light and color temperature system.
Kobo currently has close to 30 million users globally and have a presence in over 180 countries. They sell ebooks on their own website, on their e-readers and their Android app. They currently have a library of over 3 million titles. They partner with bookstores to sell their devices and they earn a commission whenever digital content is sold. Globally, they are considered to be the second largest e-reader/ebook company, the first is Amazon.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.