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.
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.
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.
- There is more than 145% in mobile penetration in Singapore (encompassing smartphones and tablets).
- The vast majority of consumers here have data-enabled plans.
- Many consumers here have multiple devices (smartphones, tablets) today.
- 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!
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
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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