Tokyo, June 16, 2014 – Rakuten, Inc. has announced that it will participate as an eBook content service provider through its subsidiary Kobo Inc. in a feasibility study of the sale of eBooks in real brick-and-mortar bookstores, to be carried out from today in four stores in Japan.
For the next six months, BooCa eBook content cards will be on display at the bookstores participating in the study, allowing customers to browse and select their favorite titles printed on each “BooCa” card and purchase their selection at the cash register, in the same way they would buy a paper book. Approximately 3,000 popular titles will be available. The purchased content is available for download from one of two participating eBook stores, including the Rakuten Kobo eBook Store powered by Rakuten Books, a Japanese eBook store run by Kobo, giving customers the flexibility to select and use their preferable eBook store services.
Using a download code printed on each card, customers can download their purchased content through their respective eBook store websites. The cards also come with QR codes, enabling customers to quickly and easily download their purchases without needing to type in any codes. The purchased content will be available for download for six month from its purchase.
This feasibility study was set up by the consortium to promote the sale of eBooks in bookstores, formed by publishing companies, intermediate agencies, bookstores, printing companies and others, whose goal is to revitalize real bookstores by increasing sales and revenue.
Through the feasibility study, Rakuten and Kobo expect to expand their sales channels, as well as to acquire new customers. At the same time, the companies will continue to work closely with real bookstores and offer Kobo services, and help establish a new business model that will be implementable across the industry.