And if you've been following digital publishing news for long enough you may have also heard someone say that Amazon doesn't dominate every market nearly as well as well as in the US. Kobo, for example, has a larger share in Canada, and it's been said that Amazon's share of ebook markets outside of Europe and the US is actually negligible.
I didn't realize quite how true the second statement was until today. A friend on Twitter forwarded some data to me today, and it raises some serious questions about just how thoroughly Amazon dominates the global ebook market.
The following image is a screenshot taken of the publisher's portal on backstage.immaterial.fr. It shows the sources and relative proportions of one French publisher's revenue.
This chart should not be taken as canon for the global ebook market nor even the French ebook market. It only reflects the revenue of one publisher, but it is sufficiently different from the common assumption that Amazon dominates the global ebook market that I thought it worth sharing.
As you can see in the screen shot, this French publisher is earning nearly as much from Kobo/Fnac as from Amazon, with iBooks coming in a not too distant third place. Amazon in fact accounts for less than a third of this pie chart.
That is incredibly different from the 60% figure that everyone throws around, and it raises the question of whether we should be mentioning that 60% figure any more. I for one think we might want to take it with a grain of salt.
We might even go so far as to question whether Amazon really has 60% of the global ebook market. Nah, that's just crazy talk.
TBH, I have been hearing for some time now that Amazon didn't dominate all markets, but this is the very first time that I have seen real data to back up that idea. And while this is but a single data point in a single small ebook market, it reveals a view of the market that is very different from what a lot of pundits are saying.
And for that reason, I am sharing this screen shot.
If this blew your mind as much as it did mine, you're welcome.
P.S. If anyone has similar data to share about the US, global, or other ebook markets, please send me an email. I can keep a secret.