Barnes and Noble is Breaking up With Nook


Barnes and Noble announced today that they are splitting up with Nook. The divorce could get messy, but they still plan to work together after the separation…for the kids.

The analogy may sound a bit weird but that’s pretty much exactly what’s happening. B&N plans to separate their Barnes & Noble Retail business and Nook Media division into two separate companies.

The split isn’t going to happen immediately; if everything gets approved and goes as planned, the separation will be completed in early 2015.

Nook Media has been dragging down B&N for the past couple of years, so the move really isn’t surprising. B&N released new numbers on the Nook brand today and the outlook is not good. Overall Nook revenues decreased by 22.3% for the quarter and 35.2% for the year. Nook device and accessory sales are even worse, down by 30.1% for the quarter and 44.8% for the full year.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out for Nook Media. B&N recently announced that they would no longer be making any more Nook tablet devices, that they would be partnering with other companies for hardware instead. That’s where the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook comes in, Samsung hardware with Nook software. If hardware is already on the way out for Nook, that just leaves apps and digital content to manage.

But without B&N, where does that leave Nook Media? I often hear people say that they are pulling for B&N and hope that Barnes and Noble does well and stays in business. That’s an excuse a lot of people use to buy Nook books and Nook devices. Without that, Nook is going to be in even worse shape.

Things aren’t looking good for Nook right now. Hopefully splitting the companies into two separate businesses can benefit them both in the long run.

9 Responses to “Barnes and Noble is Breaking up With Nook”

  1. I like my little Nook Simple Touch! Maybe I’ll put some version of Android on it 😉

  2. Ryan Williamson June 25, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    The Simple Touch already runs Android – if you haven’t rooted it yet then you just don’t have access to it. I have the ST Glow and I rooted it years ago. It’s a really old version .. 2.2 as I recall, but it’s a reader – not a normal tablet. I have a really old version of the Kindle app on it as well, which is why I rooted mine. I still haven’t bought a Kindle, but I own lots of Amazon titles, so I can read them on there as well. Interestingly, I can no longer purchase Nook content on the Nook .. I have to do it via the website and then sync it. Don’t know if that’s a problem with just mine, or if it’s because I rooted it and they caught on, or what. I am also a version behind on the Nook software. Time to jump ship from the Nook over to the Kindle. I hate to see them going down too, but you had to know when M$ bought into the company that the hardware was gonna go. I’m surprised they haven’t put out a Winblows Nook yet. Guessing there won’t be one now.

  3. No wonder Nook sales are dropping. I have both the Nookcolor and the Kindle Fire HD and the Kindle beats the Nook in every comparison: Kindle books are usually cheaper, Kindle sales are better, there are more Kindle apps to choose from, I can download apps from other sources. Even Amazon’s Silk is faster and easier to use than the internet on my Nook. The only thing I like better about the Nook is the ereader software, which is offset by the even nicer Nook ereader software on my Kindle. The Nook will be going the way of the dodo and that makes me sad because Amazon needs competition. Too bad.

  4. I have hopes that WinReader on the Win Mini will take on the Nook which they partly own. I prefer buying through Amazon book store but the Nook software is so superior to the Kindle.

  5. Where’s it going? I dunno. But this split was almost inevitable.

    B&N has to shake the erroneous impression that its bookstores are on the verge of bankruptcy. They’re not; the bookstores remain quite profitable, and B&N hasn’t provided any funding to NOOK Media in a couple of years. But as long as B&N continues to report NOOK Media as part of the B&N financials, they’ve got perception problems.

    Interestingly, despite the decreased sales, NOOK Media manages to hit around $50-60 million EBITDA losses every quarter (except for two disastrous quarters associated with the overproduction of NOOK HD/HD+). If they sell a lot, they lose $50-60 million in the quarter. If they don’t sell a lot (like this past quarter), they lose $50-60 million in the quarter.

    With the profits from the College Bookstores only able to cover about half of those losses, NOOK Media needs to do something about the NOOK business. But they’ve already had a few years and have failed to find anything that works, and I don’t see today’s business environment being any more conducive to making the NOOK business profitable.

    Selling hardware pretty clearly isn’t the answer, but selling digital content doesn’t seem to be working, either. The latter isn’t helped by NOOK Media’s policies about not price-matching and not refunding, their outsourced customer service operation, a user-review system that not even sock-puppets will use, and an almost useless product search.

    Kindle needs some real competition. I’d love for NOOK to be that competition. But I don’t see how it can happen.

  6. I like both my Nook Simple Touch with Glow Light and Nook HD+. I use the simple touch a lot more often the the HD+ for reading. I rooted it a month ago and it has been working fine. The one thing I wish the new Nook media division would do is to lower the ebook prices back to where they were two months ago. If you haven’t noticed already, BN quietly raised its ebook prices around April. Now their prices are about 20% higher than those on Google Play and Amazon.

  7. Kindle is better for me. I used to own one Nook Color, but I sold it after some time. It just did not meet my expectations. I wish they would put Android on it. It would help to open bigger market for them, and sales would probably go down. Anyway, I’m still waiting for any e-book reader that would be able to run users map applications. Sometimes I get lost and the only thing I have is my E-reader (I do not have a smartphone).

  8. Kindle has competition.

    It’s called all the low cost Android tablets.

    It’s sad really — in the end e-ink devices may disappear.

    The one thing I’ve never liked about the Kindle is — no expandable memory slot.

    I have a ton of open source, and non-drm-ed content. So really I can go anywhere and am not be stuck in anyone’s ecosystem.

    Preference on my side is for Sony e-readers. My PRS-T1 will probably easily last me another 10 years or more.

  9. I have such a horrible experience with my Nook. Three weeks after I bought it, it overheated and crashed. They would not exchange it for a new one only a refurbished one. I took it because I was told my extended warranty would still be in effect. This refurbished one did the same thing four months later and they gave me another refurbished one. I noticed it had a bulge in the case and called customer service and was told it was a cosmetic flaw not to worry about it.

    I learned some tips on not letting it overheat. Like when using it outside I kept a frozen gel packet in a ziplock against it. This Nook lasted nine months and did what the others had done. I called to get it replaced because of my extended warranty and was told that my warranty had been voided because of the crack in the previous one. So now I am out an ereader and the extended warranty was useless.

    I have read so many other people having the same issue. I wold never ave anything to do with Barnes and Noble again.