Flipkart Exits eBooks, Hands Customers Off to Kobo

Flipkart Exits eBooks, Hands Customers Off to Kobo eBookstore Once viewed as a serious local threat to the Kindle, Flipkart announced on Friday that it is pulling a SonyThe Indian retailer is shuttering its three-year-old ebookstore, and handing its customers off to Kobo.

In a deal that closely resembles Kobo's agreements with Tesco/Blinkbox and Sony, ebook accounts belonging to Flipkart customers will be transferred to Kobo starting on 17 December. All ebooks should be transferred, but Flipkart has promised refunds for any ebooks which don't make it through the transition. Flipkart customers can continue to read ebooks in the Flipkart app after the transition, although the retailer has said it will turn off its servers in mid-February.

You can find more details on the Flipkart website.

Based on reports that Flipkart's digital efforts had fallen into disarray, rumors of the store's closure have been circulating since September, but the decision was only made official this week when Flipkart announced that it would be focusing on paper books, and not digital.

"The Indian book market is overwhelmingly dominated by physical books and this is a market that is growing at a fast clip. Flipkart will continue to be a leading player in the overall books market in India,” Flipkart said in a statement. "In an overall strategy for books, Flipkart does not see the eBooks service as a strategic fit and hence the decision of transitioning the eBooks service to Kobo," it added.

This move will leave the Kindle as, if not the most popular ebook store in India, at least the most well-known. Amazon opened a local Kindle Store in India in 2012, and counts Google, Apple, and Kobo as competitors.

I can't tell you which bookstore has the largest share, but Amazon is devoting a lot of attention to India. That's one of the few markets where KDP offers a 70% royalty (there's a catch: you have to also be in KDP Select). And earlier this year Amazon also launched  Kindle Unlimited in India, charging a cut rate price of 99 rupees, or around $1.49 a month.

Kobo, on the other hand, launched in India a year after Amazon by partnering with WH Smith and Crossword as local retail partners.

Medianama, TechCrunch

image by oldandsolo

 

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

6 Comments

  1. Apple iBooks is competing with Amazon in India?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder12 December, 2015

      @ Mark

      At a minimum, Apple is selling textbooks there.

      Reply
  2. Meg Martyr12 December, 2015

    I had a pretty good run with Flipkart’s ebooks from the time the service was launched. Got some fabulous books at hefty discounts. The app worked pretty well. For some time now I’d had a feeling it was going to be pulled, as the prices had become outrageous and many authors were no longer available. Luckily Amazon and Google e books had arrived in India. But the Flipkart ebook app was terrific and I’ll always love ’em for that.

    Reply
  3. […] Source http://the-digital-reader.com/2015/12/11/95001/ […]

    Reply
  4. […] Taking the Pot (1) […]

    Reply
  5. […] and audiobooks to libraries, so hopefully this will be integrated into Kobo in 2016. Plus, when Flipkart gave up on ebooks in India, they sold their customer base to Kobo, as Sony did back in […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top