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The Kindle Store still has the best prices in the post agency market

The developer behind Inkmesh apparently had a break in his day job. He just ran another ebook price survey similar to the one he ran back in November 2009. FYI: Inkmesh is an ebook search engine. It's the best way to find out which ebookstore has a given title, and more importantly which store has the best price.

First, a little background. The survey only covers titles that were available in all 5 major stores (Kindle, B&N, Kobo, Borders, Sony). This gave a sample set of 16,931 titles.

The following chart shows the number of titles for which each retailer had the lowest price (among the 16,931 titles in the survey). A lower score means that a store had the best price less often than a store with a higher score.

Note: if 2 stores had a titles at the same low price they each got the point.

He added a footnote of other statistics he found interesting:

As we found with our previous analysis, there were only 1270 (7.5%) ebooks that were free amongst these top selling ebooks. Thus, contrary to popular belief most of the top selling ebooks are actually not free.

Along with Amazon, and B&N, BooksOnBoard and Kobo put up a strong showing by beating Sony and Borders in terms of ebook pricing. Another interesting fact was that unlike before when Amazon had lowest price for 74% of the ebooks, this time the number dropped to 48%. A possibility could be that some smaller ebook vendors are yet not following the agency model and pricing their ebooks more aggressively than Amazon. A deeper analysis would be the subject of another blog.

In summary: when it comes to ebook pricing, Amazon is still the best, but B&N is close on heels. Sony is much better than before, but still far behind and needs to tighten up it’s pricing to start making a big impact. Borders is coming up, and Kobo had a surprisingly good showing. The landscape will continue to change as both newer and more established ebook vendors continue to lure readers to their sites.

Inkmesh blog

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