February 23, 2010

Kobo Launches UK eBook Store

Partners include major UK publishers – Random House UK, Penguin Group UK, Bloomsbury, Simon & Schuster UK and Faber & Faber

On the heels of a major fund­ing an­nounce­ment and re-brand, Kobo (pre­vi­ously Short­cov­ers) today launched in the UK. Kobo is an eRead­ing ser­vice for smart­phones, tab­lets, net­books, laptops and eRead­ers. Kobo’s use of open stand­ards like EPUB and its unique cloud-based ser­vice en­ables con­sumers to build their ebook lib­rar­ies without being locked in to any one device. Kobo also keeps all of a reader’s devices in sync, en­abling them to read from device to device. Since it launched in North Amer­ica in early 2009, Kobo has been down­loaded by more than one mil­lion users in 200 coun­tries. The UK launch is the first re­gion-spe­cific launch for Kobo out­side of North Amer­ica.

Kobo fea­tures eBooks from lead­ing UK pub­lish­ers such as Ran­dom House UK, Pen­guin Group UK, Blooms­bury, Simon & Schuster UK and Faber & Faber. With these part­ner­ships Kobo will have nearly two mil­lion titles avail­able in the UK – with best­sellers from £8.99 and less. Kobo is work­ing with the In­de­pend­ent Pub­lish­ers Guild to en­sure that re­gional and in­de­pend­ent presses are rep­res­en­ted along­side major pub­lish­ing houses. The ser­vice will in­clude a best­seller list unique to the UK store and UK titles fea­tured prom­in­ently on the site.

“The UK presents a huge op­por­tun­ity for Kobo to show­case its global cap­ab­il­it­ies,” said Mi­chael Tamblyn, Kobo’s Ex­ec­ut­ive Vice Pres­id­ent of con­tent, sales and mer­chand­ising. “Our focus is on as­sem­bling the world’s best cata­logue of con­tent for our read­ers and de­liv­er­ing a fant­astic pur­chas­ing and read­ing ex­per­i­ence on any device a cus­tomer chooses. We will also provide read­ers in the UK with a huge se­lec­tion of con­tent. The UK is the first of many in­ter­na­tional launches for Kobo this year.”

“The mar­ket for eBooks in Bri­tain is grow­ing fast and read­ers are look­ing for choice and the best pos­sible ex­per­i­ence. We are de­lighted that Kobo, with its ex­cel­lent tech­no­logy across the mo­bile spec­trum and its deep com­mit­ment to au­thors and read­ers, is launch­ing in the UK. Blooms­bury is work­ing closely with Kobo to en­sure that our pub­lish­ing pro­gramme, in­clud­ing best selling titles such as Ben Macintyre’s Op­er­a­tion Mince­meat and Liz Gil­bert’s Com­mit­ted, is avail­able as widely and as eas­ily as pos­sible”, said Richard Char­kin, Ex­ec­ut­ive Dir­ector of Blooms­bury Pub­lish­ing Plc.

Through its new stra­tegic part­ners, Kobo has opened dis­tri­bu­tion chan­nels in the U.S., Canada, UK, European Union, Aus­tralia, New Zea­l­and, Hong Kong and other ter­rit­or­ies. Today, Kobo’s eRead­ing ser­vice in­cludes sup­port for lead­ing pop­u­lar smart­phones like the iPhone, Black­berry, An­droid, Palm Pre, and An­droid devices. In ad­di­tion, Kobo’s sup­port of EPUB down­loads al­lows any­one to use Kobo as their eBook store on other eInk based eRead­ers, laptops, net­books and, com­ing soon, tab­let com­puters.

The Kobo ap­plic­a­tion is avail­able for free down­load on the App Store, Black­Berry AppWorld, Palm Pre App Cata­log, An­droid Mar­ket­place, or simply by vis­it­ing www.​kobobooks.​com. Kobo fea­tures thou­sands of free eBooks, so users can try eRead­ing for free.

For more in­form­a­tion or to down­load Kobo, visit www.​kobobooks.​com.

About Kobo, Inc.
Kobo is a global eRead­ing ser­vice backed by ma­jor­ity share­holder In­digo Books & Music, Bor­ders Group, REDgroup Re­tail, and Ch­eung Kong Hold­ings. Kobo be­lieves con­sumers should be able to read any eBook on any device. With a cata­log of over two mil­lion eBooks, and an open plat­form, Kobo en­ables re­tail­ers, device man­u­fac­tur­ers and mo­bile op­er­at­ors to bring the joy of eRead­ing to cus­tom­ers every­where. For more in­form­a­tion, visit www.​kobobooks.​com.