Wednesday, January 25, 2012
eNews: Kobo Formally Launches in the Netherlands; Survey Says Tablet Market "Not Set In Stone"
After soft-launch in Holland late last year, Kobo's will formally roll out their ebookstore there on January 30 with "thousands of Dutch titles," while Dutch retailer Libris Blz will sell the Kobo Touch for €129. "Through our new partnership with Libris Blz, we're confident our expansion into the Netherlands will be a huge success," Kobo ceo Michael Serbinis said in a statement. "Kobo's focus has always been to bring e-reading and e-books to people everywhere around the world. By launching in the Netherlands, and bringing e-reading to the passionate Dutch reading community -- we are one more country closer to delivering on that promise."
Also just announced, digital comics publisher Graphicly has launched a digital self-publishing platform focused on visual storytelling. Working on a flat-fee charge, the service distributes not only to Kindle, Nook and iPad, but also to Facebook. The service is pitched at creators of children's books, comics and graphic novels, illustrated and art books and magazines.
Sourcebooks also announced its new Agile Publishing Model (APM), which will allow for the rapid and interactive development of books, ebooks, videos, and other materials by its authors so that the publishing process happens faster with real-time customer feedback. APM will launch in fall 2012 with ENTERING THE SHIFT AGE by futurist David Houle (who will be presenting at DBW Wednesday) with Sourcebook planning to release several related ebooks and other materials from Houle as part of the APM over the upcoming months.
"The traditional publishing model -- long schedules, creating in a vacuum, lack of involvement with the readers of the end product -- drives some authors crazy," ceo and publisher Dominique Raccah said in a statement. "This model is a great fit for experts who are highly immersed in their field and where the field is evolving rapidly."
As part of a wave of new data on trends in tablet ownership, The Boston Consulting Group released the results of a survey they conducted of 8,700 individuals in 8 countries that makes the not-exactly-bold claim that Apple won't always dominate the tablet market. What consumers are willing to pay varies across countries: in the US, customers said a multipurpose tablet price of between $140 to $240 was idea, up $35 since 2010. In Europe, however, consumers said a price point of between $250 and $350 - an average increase of $100 from 2010 - was optimal, and Chinese consumers surveyed were willing to pay from $280 to $440 for a tablet, or $185 more than in 2010.
BCG also found evidence of cannibalization as approximately one third of US respondents are considering buying an e-reader, with half considering purchase of a tablet instead of a netbook or portable media device. Approximately half of American non-owners surveyed said they intend to buy a tablet or an e-reader in the next year, with that number higher in every other country surveyed save Japan. And more consumers want to use tablets for work (right now it's mostly for consumptive activities like games, email, and social networking) but slower speeds and the absence of a Windows-based device on the market were cited as key drawbacks.