Late last week Google released their second quarter earnings report. Said report doesn't break down into specific details, but Google did reveal that the segment which included the Google Play Store hit $1.6 billion in revenues.
Revenues were ip 53% over the same quarter last year, and up 3% over the first quarter of 2014. The company said "digital sales of apps and content in our Play Store drove the year-over-year growth", adding in the investors conference call that "Google Play continues to grow at breakneck speed across all types of digital content, helping developers and content partners reach users around the world."
The $1.6 billion includes content sales as well as devices sold via Google Play, so there's really no way to tell how much of that comes from ebook sales vs movies, music, apps, or sales of Nexus and Chromecast devices.
I can't tell you how many ebooks Google sold, but I can tell you that it's going to be a very small number when compared to Apple or Amazon.
No one knows exactly how many ebooks Amazon sells, but we do know that Apple's content sales (plus Apple Care license sales) totaled $4.5 billion in their most recent quarterly report (PDF). While we don't have specifics I think it is safe to say that Apple is selling more ebooks than Google.
That was to be expected, but I don't think you expected that Google might be selling more ebooks than B&N.
According to B&N's latest quarterly report, their Nook division had revenues of $87 million in their fourth fiscal quarter. That figure includes both content sales and hardware sales, with digital content accounting for $62 million.
Again, we don't know what Google's actual revenues were from ebooks, but I think it is safe to question whether Google is now selling more ebooks than B&N. If even 5% of that $1.6 billion in revenue comes from ebook sales then this supposition is a fact.
In a way, this turnaround should have been expected. Google has a growing ebook presence with 57 local Google Play Books stores around the world, including 11 new stores which launched in Latin America only last month. B&N, on the other hand, has seen declining digital revenue for the past year and change.
It was clear to me months ago that iBooks had supplanted B&N as a major ebookstore, and now it appears that Google Play Books may have as well. Or would someone like to point out the flaws in my math?
P.S. If anyone has specific figures which show I am right or wrong, let me know. Even if all you can say is yes or no, I would still deeply appreciate the information.