Monday, October 25, 2010

Ebooks outsell Pbooks on

Amazon must be gaining book market share. Obviously in ebooks, but taking a moment to consider the numbers, they must also be gaining in the overall book market. In other words, ebook sales are not just lost pbook sales for Amazon, but there is some cannibalization.

Amazon's press release is generating a bit of attention. I've heard Kindle fanboi and naysayers are both making statements out of perspective.

I will agree that Amazon customers are far more likely to buy a Kindle than non-previous Amazon customers. But...

I would point out a few things:
1. Amazon is about 15% of the pbook market.
2. Amazon is somewhere between 60% to 80% of the ebook market.
3. Ebooks back in August were 10% of the market (9% is for YTD.)

In other words, if it took until October for ebook sales to outsell pbooks at then it implies Amazon is growing market share. For if Amazon's pbook customers just switched to e-books, this milestone would have been announced back in January! (see August sales post).

But looking at the graphs from my previous post and the August sales... We can do a little more than guess.

1. Everytime after major e-reader sales, we see a spike in ebook sales.
2. Don't forget it was Septempber that brought the Kindle3 wifi price down to $139. Look at the July/August ebook sales spike off the Kindle2 at $189.

Signs of success:
Amazon is hiring for long term investment in the Kindle:
Ireaderreview on Kindle job openings

I still do not believe we are yet at the tipping point for the whole book market. But we're getting there genre by genre.

Romance and SciFi are already past the tipping point.

October is the start of the Christmas buying season. So I wonder how many Kindles are being shipped for later delivery. Amazon had better work on gifting books ASAP.

The rumored color Nook sounds exciting for Kids. If there is a ruggedized ereader by Christmas, our kids will find one under the tree. Kiddie books are a natural to go digital.

Any which way, I see see this as significant market share growth in books for Amazon. Those that love pbooks will try to diminish this press release. But lets not forget that Amazon is the 800 pound gorilla of online pbook sales. We should expect a nice upside surprise in ebook share as we review book sales data over the next six months.

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