It turns out Kobo has a lot in common with the major trade publishers; in both cases, much if not all of their growth comes from acquisitions rather than growing sales.
According to Rakuten’s annual report to investors, which was released in February, Kobo’s net content sales were up 60.4% in the firth quarter over the same period in the previous year.
The report also showed that Overdrive’s total checkouts were up 17.5% in that same quarter.
Rakuten did not reveal any additional detail in the report or in the presentation for investors. In fact, Kobo wasn’t mentioned in the presentation at all.
Did you look at that first chart?
Kobo got a huge boost when they took over operations of Tolino early last year, but ever since then their revenues have declined. That comes as a surprise given that I have not heard any complaints from users which would indicate they were turning away from Kobo.
And yet, that is probably what is happening given that Overdrive did not see a similar dip in checkouts, and Author Earning reports showed that the ebook market continues to grow.
Have you stopped buying your ebooks through Kobo/Tolino?