Kobo Reports Revenues Doubled in the First Quarter of 2013

Kobo-and-Rakuten-300x218[1]BEA 2013 kicks off tomorrow, so Kobo sent out a press release today reminding us how great they are doing. Kobo is following up a record 143% growth in revenue in 2012 with a still impressive 98% increase in the first quarter of this year. They're also reporting that they now have 14.5 million registered users, an increase of 2.5 million in only 3 months, with 15 percent of the new user base coming from the US, as well as a sizeable increase in hardware sales - 145%, in fact.

Kobo has also shared details that may have confirmed that ereader maker made the right choice in jumping at the chance to use the 6.8" screen. Over half of the Kobo Aura HD units sold were bought by new customers, not existing users, and according to the press release the Aura HD "accounted for up to 27 percent of Kobo devices sold at retail".

Unfortunately for me, Kobo hasn't released any firm data on how many Aura HD were sold, and that puts me in the terrible position of having to speculate. (I'm kidding.)

But one are that Kobo has shared useful info is Kobo Writing Life. According to the press release, there are currently more than 100,000 KWL titles available from Kobo.com and their affiliated ebookstores. Self-pub titles distributed through KWL now account for 10% of Kobo's unit sales.

Unfortunately there is no info on the dollar value, but one conclusion we can draw is that KWL is off to a decent start. This one year old platform has already hit 10% of the Kobo Store, and that compares very nicely to the 3 year old PubIt/Nook Press, which accounts for 25% of sales in the Nook Store.

In spite of the lack of specific details on hardware sales, revenue, or the like, I am glad that Kobo is at least sharing info in registered users. No, seriously, if Kobo keeps revealing that their user base in increasing then it's going to put pressure on Amazon and Nook Media to release similar data. And when that happens we're finally going to get an idea who really the major ebook platforms.

But not a very good idea; neither Google nor Apple are going to feel the same pressure as Amazon and Nook Media.

About Nate Hoffelder (11394 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

2 Comments on Kobo Reports Revenues Doubled in the First Quarter of 2013

  1. “Over half of the Kobo Aura HD units sold were bought by new customers, not existing users” While this may sound good, I was one of those “new customers” and it was my first and last purchase with Kobo. Absolute horrid CS. While I had my fair share of screen issues with the first run of Kindle PW’s , my Aura had similar issues. Regardless, I wanted to exchange it for a device with no screen issues. I actually gave up on the process. Countless email’s back and forth with their customer service, in which I had to supply multiple pictures of the defects on the screen, of the screen itself , of the device itself , the back of the device. At the point in which I gave up, there was nearly 6 emails and around the same amount of pictures sent. They needed all my information, it was as if they have no record on hand or stored somewhere of what I’ve bought anywhere. It was an absolute mess. I must hand it to Amazon for having the best CS out of any company that I have ever had to deal with in my entire life. If you thinking of Kobo, just be aware of some serious issues. I also had my Aura completely freeze while syncing it. Between the hardware and CS issues it just isn’t worth the possible headache.

    • Too bad you purchased the Aura HD, because the Arc is actually pretty nice. I’d still purchase a Nexus 7 over it, but if you want something more reader-centric out of the box, the Arc is actually pretty good.

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