Guess who is using the Kobo store in Australia & NZ?
Sony, that’s who.
Let me assure my antipodal readers that I know I’m a week behind on this story. I missed it the first time around because I was distracted by the device announcement. But I think this story is important enough that it’s still worth a post. This was probably missed by a lot of people outside the region and it’s an important detail.
I’ve just gotten confirmation from my new contact with Sony Australia that they will not open a Sony ebookstore in Australia or New Zealand. Instead they’ve signed a deal with Redgroup Retail to use the Redgroup branded Kobo ebookstore. In New Zealand that means Sony Reader owners can now use Whitcoulls to buy their ebooks, and in Australia you have the option of either Borders AU or Angus & Robertson (same ebookstore, dfferent color scheme).
I wonder how they’re handling the device registration issues? Do they all work with the same desktop app?
Ooh. I just now realized that now we have the new Kobo Desktop app (it supports Sony Readers), Australian owners will be spared the agony of using the Sony Library. You lucky dogs.
igorsk September 9, 2010 um 9:44 pm
Simple, they just use Adobe ID registration. Works with any store that uses ADEPT.
Alexander Inglis September 10, 2010 um 8:15 am
If the strategy works "down under" — a win-win for Kobo-Sony — it could work elsewhere. And it instantly gives Sony eReader access to iPad and Android phones (via Kobo apps) without spending a nickel on development.
Kobo, right out of the gate, has shown its willingness to create partnerships and it is this strategy that makes me believe many are under-estimating Kobo’s potential as the DRM ePub world collapses in a Tower of Babel or refreshes by consolidating and streamlining. All the pieces are there to create a credible, profitable alternative to Amazon.
fjtorres September 10, 2010 um 8:17 am
Interesting. They’re forgoing the recurring revenue of ebook sales to spare themselve the upfront investment of securring regional ebook rights to expand their US-only ebookstore.
Explains why they won’t support B&N DRM, no?
One could argue this is a sign of flagging commitment to the ebook business. Basically, Sony is adopting the business model of a generic chinese ADEPT hardware vendor; throw the hardware out and hope somebody finds a use for it. It also cuts the losses if they need to ditch the business.
Mike Cane September 10, 2010 um 11:13 am
*snort* You missed me tweeting about this days ago (maybe even last week)? I thought it was a good idea too. Sony should concentrate on hardware and partner with existing stores (as they did in England with Waterstones). I agree with Rick that here in the US, Sony should close its Bookstore, Barnes & Noble should exterminate the Nook, and the Reader should be teamed with the B&N bookstore (using *classic* Adobe DRM).
Sony to Expand Ebookstore into UK, Germany – The Digital Reader August 31, 2011 um 11:35 pm
[…] in the US market, so I think it would be better to go with a ebookstore partner – kinda like what they did in Australia. The Australian models of the Sony Readers don’t have an ebookstore; customers are recommend […]
Sony Reader Store Now Live in the UK – The Digital Reader April 16, 2012 um 1:18 pm
[…] experience to customers, and that’s exactly what Sony did when they launched down under back in 2010.But like some readers have commented, Sony doesn’t know how to give up on unprofitable […]