A couple months back I predicted that Kobo would one day acquire Nook, and new market estimates released this week suggest that it might not be a bad idea at all.
A new Author Earnings Report was published earlier this week, and it showed that the Nook Store was still one of the larger ebook retailers.
The report focused on the five largest English-language ebook markets (US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) and studied the relative market shares of the fifteen largest bookstores in those markets.
Much to no one's surprise, the report shows that the US market accounts for over three-quarters of the combined market, and that Amazon dominates all of the markets where it has a local Kindle Store:
eBooks mae up a significant part of the US, UK, and Canadian book markets, but less so in NZ and Australia:
Print Book Sales
all book sales
Of course, it is hard to tell just how many ebooks Amazon sells in NZ and Australia; as someone pointed out over at The Passive Voice: "The results for Australia are a tiny bit skewed because a lot of us were Amazon.com customers before the Australia-specific store opened, and didn’t make the switch to Amazon.com.au."
And there is no local Kindle Store in New Zealand, so there's no way to accurately estimate the size of that market using only external data. New Zealanders buy ebooks from the main Kindle Store, which means that their purchases are counted in the above chart as part of the US market.
Coincidentally, the same is true for every country which lacks a country-specific Kindle Store.
In other words, the charts which show Kindle ebook sales in the US actually show a semi-global market which includes, to name a couple examples, all of Africa and much of South America. So the "US" Kindle Store really isn't just the US - but I digress.
The real point I wanted to get at was the estimated number of ebook sales for the Nook Store (in units, not dollars):
|Kobo||Barnes & Noble Nook|
|% of Total:||82%||10%||2%||3%|
B&N's Nook isn't half the store it used to be, and yet it is still selling more ebooks than Kobo.
I'd say that makes it a good target for Kobo to buy - if the price is right.
You can find this data, and more, on the Author Earnings website.