Amazon is currently the king in everything book-related, from printed and audio- and e-books. According to AuthorEarnings, in February 2017 Amazon accounted for the 83.3% market share in the US, while also dominating the UK, Canada and Australia markets.
Biggest companies in the book economy:
Furthermore, Amazon has expanded its own printing division:
And owning Audible secures the audio books market for Amazon.
But the status quo might change. Other companies — namely Walmart, Apple and Google — are making their moves to cut into Amazon’s market share.
Walmart, an American retailer, has merged with Japanese Rakuten. The latter owns Kobo — a major marketplace for electronic and audio books, listing around 6 million products. Now Kobo’s offerings will be available for purchase through Walmart’s own app.
Apple announced a long-awaited iBooks update. Bloomberg reports:
"This will be the biggest upgrade to Apple’s e-book service in several years and provides renewed competition in a market that Amazon has dominated."
New version will be called Books, and will feature a simpler interface, as well as various tabs, including one for audiobooks. The update is now being tested.
Google has also upped its gamer with a Audible-like app in its store. Unlike Audible, though, the app does not operate under a subscription model, but sells each books directly for approximately $10.
The app will be compatible with Google Assistant and Google Home smart speaker:
Global book market is about to become more competitive, which will benefit the consumers. Apple’s addition of audiobooks will be of the key developments to follow. Recently Amazon limited Audible functionality on iOS after Apple demanded 30% of profits generated by the app.
Also published on Medium.