Now that the Sony to Kobo transition is complete in the United States and Canada, Sony has announced that they are exiting other markets too.
The Sony ebook stores in Europe and Australia are being closed down and all accounts are being sent to Kobo.
It’s not surprising given the closures in the North America market, but there was still slight hope that Sony wouldn’t give up on ebook reading for good—that is clearly not the case anymore. Their Japan store is now the only one left standing, and it probably won’t last much longer either.
This is another sad tale of Sony giving up on something that they had an integral part in starting. Now ereader fans will have even less choices in the shrinking ebook reader market.
Once again Kobo is going to be the main beneficiary. Sony is giving all of their customer accounts to Kobo. No one has ever mentioned money in all this; I wonder if Kobo is paying to receive customer accounts or if there is some kind of other deal going on. Either way it’s a major boon for Kobo.
“We are delighted to be working with Sony to reach the most passionate Readers in Europe and Australia, by bringing the Kobo world to Reader Store customers – keeping them reading their favourite stories,” said Takahito Aiki, CEO, Kobo. “Both companies share the goal of putting the most passionate booklovers at the centre of the reading experience. This means providing the best experience through innovative technology coupled with a vast and comprehensive digital reading ecosystem.”
The European Sony ebook stores in the UK, Germany, Austria, as well as the Australia store, will be closed on June 16th, 2014.
Customers will receive an email in late June with a link to transition their ebooks and account over to Kobo.
Like with the US transfer, most ebooks will make it to Kobo, but not all. So it is advisable for customers to login to their Sony accounts and download their ebooks to ensure none get lost during the transfer.
Here are the links to the FAQ’s for each market:
Kobo – FAQ
Sony (UK) – FAQ
Sony (Germany) – FAQ
Sony (Austria) – FAQ
Sony (Australia) – FAQ