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Last Friday, Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN - Analyst Report) has decided to take Kindle Singles to the U.K. Singles are basically articles that are longer in length than those found typically in magazines, but not long enough to be a book.
Kindle Singles have seen relative success in the U.S. since their launch in January 2011 and the 250 titles on offer in the U.K. also includes content from U.S. authors.
In the U.K., Kindle Singles will refer to works from notable authors and journalists for between £0.99 and £1.99. In the beginning, the store will include 250 titles. Amazon earns 30.0% of the proceeds from sales and will pay the rest to the authors for works exclusive to its e-book reader.
Amazon’s customers can buy the Kindle Singles and read them on their Kindle devices as well as on other devices such as Apple Inc.’s (AAPL - Analyst Report) iPad, iPod, iPhone, Mac, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry, Microsoft’s (MSFT - Analyst Report) Windows-based phones and Google Inc.’s (GOOG - Analyst Report) Android-based devices. It is a great move from Amazon to bring a new concept to the market and then make it available across a broad range of devices.
Kindle Singles have been successful in the U.S. and Amazon sold more than 3.5 million Kindle Singles in September 2012 itself. It is a great platform for unpublished authors to create a market for themselves.
According to IDC, 27.8 million tablets were shipped worldwide in the third quarter of fiscal 2012. Apple shipped 14.0 million iPads and led the market with a 50.4% share. Samsung was next in line with 18.4% market share. Amazon ranked third as it shipped 2.5 million units for a 9.0% share.
However, information and analytics provider IHS is predicting that shipment of e-book readers may drop to a mere 7.1 million units worldwide, way below the 23.2 million units shipped in 2011. The e-book readers are seeing a setback due to the rising popularity of tablets such iPads, Surface, Nexus 7 and others.
Amazon realized early where the market was headed and therefore launched its Kindle tablets well ahead of time. The company is the largest bookseller and despite the fact that many players (both big and small) are now encroaching on its turf, Amazon is really going strong. Given the fast-growing nature of the market and the company’s own innovative approach, we think that Amazon will remain the most significant player for some time to come.
To further increase its rate of success, Amazon has increased focus on its own publishing. In this respect, it maybe said that Kindle Singles can become a great marketing tool to boost the company’s revenue. Amazon will definitely strive to grab more market share from Apple, which is currently dominating the tablet space.
Amazon’s third quarter revenue was $13.81 billion, up 7.6% sequentially and 26.9% from the year-ago quarter. This was better than management expectations and more or less in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Excluding the unfavorable currency impact, revenues increased 30.0% year over year.
Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Research In Motion and Google all have a Zacks #3 Rank, which implies a ‘Hold’ rating in the near term.