Amazon's dominant position in the global ebook market is largely dependent their strong position in a handful of the most-developed markets: the US, UK, and Germany. And now it looks like Amazon may be losing their grip on on Germany.
BuchReport reported on Friday that the the latest figures from market research firm GfK show that the Kindle Store was losing market share to Tolino. In the 3rd quarter of 2014, the consortium of media retailers that make up the Tolino alliance accounted for 45% of the German ebook market, while Amazon only accounted for 39%.
GfK also estimated that 22 million ebooks were sold in Germany in 2013 for a total market value of about 163 million euros, a 63% increase from 2012. Around 9% of Germans own an ereader, with 43% of that figure owning a Kindle, 12% a Tolino device, and 11% either a Sony or Trekstor ereader.
Formed in early 2013, the Tolino alliance initially consisted of 4 German media retailers (Thalia, WeltBild, Hugendubel, and Bertelsmann) and Deutche Telekom which had pooled their resources and launched a single shared ebook platform to share development and operating costs.
Earlier this year Tolino expanded internationally when the Belgian retailer Standaard Boekhandel joined in July, followed in September by the Dutch bookstore coop Libris, and in November by the Italian retailer IBS.it.
With the addition of IBS, Tolino has partner retailers spread across 4 countries in central Europe with around 1,500 retail stores in Germany and 300 stores in other countries, including 145 stores in Belgium, 100 stores in the Netherlands, and 44 stores in Italy.
Tolino partners support the Vision ereader, as well as several tablet models and apps for Android and iOS.
image by Mark B. Schlemmer