Now that Amazon, Google, Copia and Apple have taken steps to enter the Brazilian market, Kobo now has plans to establish itself in the country. The Canadian e-book company confirmed, through its public relations office, that it “will be coming to Brazil.”
Some of the company’s executives have already been talking to publishers and retailers, and working to build operations. Kobo’s entrance into the Brazilian e-book market might be facilitated by the fact that Rakuten, its parent company, already operates in Brazil through Ikeda, a company with dozens of employees that provides e-commerce platforms to several customers.
In April Todd Humphrey, EVP of business development at Kobo, was in Brazil to attend the Rakuten Super Expo and he told the Brazilian news portal Terra that the company was going to start operations in the country in the second half of 2012. According to him, both e-books and devices should be available by the end of the third quarter, in time for Christmas sales.
He said, according to Terra: “We are working with Brazilian publishers and closing deals with retailers, as well as with a big bookshop chain to distribute readers.”
As far as publishers and retailers are concerned, people familiar with the subject confirm there have been talks, but say nothing is established yet.
Amazon, Google and Apple have announced their plans to start operations in Brazil, and the first two have already made hires to develop their e-book businesses in the country. So far, the only international company already operating in Brazil is Copia, which powers Submarino Digital Club, currently offering 9,600 e-book titles in Portuguese.
Some of these companies’ executives have come to the same conclusion: the Brazilian market is not likely to deliver immediate profits, as e-book sales currently represent an infinitesimally small piece of the industry. However, in the long term, Brazil is a country of 200 million people with increasing consumption among those in high and low income classes alike, and it makes sense to secure a place in this market as soon as possible.