I just flew back from Tokyo where I presented at Rakuten's Quarterly earnings conference – a pretty awesome experience meeting hundreds of investors, media, partners and new Kobo customers in Japan. Kobo was the first global eReading company to launch in Japan, a market of over 120 million people who love to read…I have to say, Tokyo is reallllly growing on me :)
Back in Canada, we have more than doubled our customer base this year, pretty incredible growth given its our 3rd year in market!! In October, Bowker reported our #1 market share for ebooks in Canada proving that Kobo can beat the Goliaths. For this, I want to thank all of our customers for their continuing support; our partners for their commitment, and our team at Kobo for their dedication and hard work making us Canada's #1 eReader. eBooks now represent 16% of the Canadian book market according to Booknet Canada – and growing! That said, books are a $100 Billion market globally, still in the early days of penetration and Kobo is going after it worldwide.
Given the majority of our customers come from Kobo eReaders we've had a great year to date. In September, we announced our new Kobo Family, including:
Kobo Touch – the most natural eReading experience according to Wired magazine
Kobo Mini – the world's smallest and lightest full featured eReader
Kobo Glo – so you can read comfortably day or night
Kobo Arc – our new tablet that reads you like a book!
You can now find Kobo at many retailers across Canada including Indigo, Best Buy, Future Shop, Walmart, Toys R Us, Staples and of course, Kobo.com…
Since all those book lovers are dying to get into their next read, the fact that we've added hundreds of thousands of books this year (a catalog now over 3.1M ebooks) is an important factor in content sales being up triple digit % also! With our recent acquisition of Aquafadas, we look forward to bringing more rich content – magazines, comics, children's and academic books, games to the Kobo store in the coming months.
Looking back, it's hard to believe that we are bigger than many book chains by revenue now (especially given how much more affordable ebooks are). Today we are selling ebooks in over 190 countries, and our Kobo Family of devices in over a dozen countries. With our unique approach to the market, we have built the largest network of booksellers in the world. We recently launched in Portugal, Italy (Forza Kobo!), South Africa, with Indie bookstores in the US, UK, and New Zealand and Brazil is coming up soon. Kobo is taking the world by storm…
But for now, it's certainly good to be home in Canada.
CEO, Kobo Inc.