Sunday, November 20, 2011

Introducing skoob, Singapore's 1st hyperlocal eBookstore

The ebook market in Singapore is in its early stage of growth. From my previous 2 posts "1-2-3 to the eBook market" and "Why the rise of eBooks (and opportunities to expand ancillary channels)?", the ebooks market is seen to be gathering momentum globally and having an impact to the market here in Singapore.

The US is leading the charge in the market for ebooks globally (with the introduction of the Amazon Kindle), where according to a survey by BookStats on the US publishing industry, that:
  • In 2008, ebooks comprise 0.6% (or US$156M)) of the total trade books market. Publishers made net revenue of ~US$26B in 2008.
  • In 2010, this number grew to 6.4% of the total trade books market, or US$1.8B (sales of 114M ebooks). Publishers made net revenue of ~US$28B in 2010.
The PWC report on "the future of ebooks" projected that share of consumer books sales by ebooks will grow to more than 22% in 2015.

From the local Singapore context, there have been also encouraging signs on ebook take-up seen from the following reading habits of Singaporeans:

(1) Sales of books in Singapore (according to Datamonitor report) in 2008 is SGD $190M and to grow to $215M in 2011, $232M in 2013 (CAGR ’08-’13 of 4.1%).

(2) From the Singapore Journal of Library & Information Management,
  • 27.5% of Singaporeans placed reading as their most preferred leisure time activity.
  • While average reader in Singapore reads about 5 books a year, about 10% of readers do read more than 30 books a year.
(3) From an IDA study done in 2009 on infocomm access in households, it was gathered that the primary activity for ~3% of Internet users (110k out of total number of Internet users in Singapore, more than 3.7M) were on reading online magazines and electronic books.

To augment the above in terms of market potential, in Singapore, there are 3 more reasons why the eBooks or mobile books market is set to take off here in Singapore.

  1. There is more than 145% in mobile penetration in Singapore (encompassing smartphones and tablets).
  2. The vast majority of consumers here have data-enabled plans.
  3. Many consumers here have multiple devices (smartphones, tablets) today.
Now with the launch of skoob, Singapore's 1st eBookstore (disclosure: I lead the team in the launch of skoob eBookstore), the eBook market in Singapore looks set to grow from strength to strength. And the below listed benefits for consumers celebrate this moving forward.

  1. Firstly, skoob aims to meet the digital lifestyle needs of Singapore's increasingly on-the-go consumers with its multiplatform, multi-device stores. You could access skoob on your PC, Mac, laptops, iPads, Android Tablets, iPhones and Android smartphones! No more having to wait for your book to arrive at your door-step!
  2. Furthermore with personal space being at a premium in Singapore, going digital is not only green but also frees up space in one’s living areas for other needs. With skoob, consumers here can also access, buy and download their eBook(s), each on up to 5 devices (PCs, Mac, laptops, iPads, iPhones, Android tablets, Android smartphones).
  3. Previously, consumers in Singapore had to jump over many hoops to buy ebooks. To read ebooks on a Kindle for example, consumers had to order a Kindle via post (Kindle is not shipped directly to Singapore) and get an Amazon gift card or a US credit card to pay for the eBooks. Now with skoob, consumers in Singapore can buy eBooks from their PCs, laptops, tablets (iPad, Android) or smartphones (iPhones, Android) etc and pay via their Singapore local credit cards or via their monthly operator bill if they are SingTel mobile customers.
  4. Previously, there was no local e-bookstore to cater to the tastes and needs of Singaporeans. But now with skoob, Singapore consumers can now get hold of more than 50,000 e-books from international bestsellers such as “A game of thrones” by George Martin or “Aleph” by Paulo Coelho to important sought after local content such as "Giants of Asia: Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew", Mr. Midnight series of children’s stories, and of course, the essential study and assessment guides from Popular Books.
I look forward to hear from you on your feedback on the eBook market trends in the world, Asia or even in Singapore and of course, your feedback on skoob as well. Never stop reading, whenever, whereever~

Nelson Wee
find me on Twitter as well

1. CNet Asia - SingTel announces "skoob" eBook store in Singapore
2. Channel NewsAsia - Flip Skoob to read and study
3. ZDNet - Singapore telco offers country's first e-book app
4. AsiaOne - Singapore's first e-book service launched
5. The Register - SingTel launches e-reader
6. TODAY online - Too cool for Skoob

1 comment:

Aaron said...

Skoob's much better than ilovebooks in terms of usability...

But there are already superior ebook content providers that renders local ebook stores obsolete with cheaper books, larger libraries and better features for a better overall experience.

What Singtel needs to focus on is:

1. Their core business
2. After sales support infrastructure.

Singtel has some of the best customer service officers but are under a pathetic support system.