SEOUL, KOREA - The market for mobile books is set to grow at a rapid pace. If the online bookstores shook the book publishing industry to the core years ago, now it's the mobile book's turn to reshape the industry again.
According to Yes24, Korea's top Internet book seller that launched the mobile book shopping app in March 2010, its mobile book sales have increased by leaps and bounds. Its sales revenue from the mobile shopping app was more 3.4 billion won in 2010. The figure rose to 13 billion won last year and to 24 billion won for the 11 months of this year.
The growth pace of the mobile book market contrasts well with that of the Internet book selling figures. Last year, the sales volume through online bookstores has fallen for the first time since debut in the early 2000s. But that of mobile books is exhibiting an opposite pattern of rising fast. This can be seen in the sales ratio between the web and mobile. In 2010, the ratio for mobile in relation to the web was only 1.23 percent. For the first 11 months of the year, however, the figure shot up to 7.53 percent. In October alone the ratio was almost 10 percent.
For Kyobo Books, the No. 1 among brick-and-mortar bookstores, which launched the mobile book buying app in September 2011, the sales volume through mobile means rose to 21 billion won between November 2012 and October 2013 from 9.3 billion won for the 12-month period from November 2011 and October 2012. Its mobile platform user base is 1.2 million, with the daily net visitor number reaching 45,000. Comparing to the sales revenue of the web bookstore, that for the mobile app has climbed up to 36 percent, establishing itself as a respectable sales channel.
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