Analysts Say Kindle Now Creates Nearly 10% of Amazon’s Revenue

It seems that Amazon’s Kindle is poised to hit something of a milestone in terms of its influence on the company as a whole.  A recently released Citi analysis has come to the conclusion that the Kindle now accounts for just short of 10% of Amazon’s total revenue, if you take into account all hardware and media.  While this would be a big deal in any case, it apparently merits recognition by Citi because of a rule they have which states that any segment of a particular company must achieve 10% of its total business before it can impact the growth rate of the company.  Surprisingly enough, this is not the only bit of interesting information on the report.

We all know by now that Amazon has been selling more eBooks than print books recently.  It seems to be the start of a trend.  When commenting on this development, the report also states that “We believe that industry-wide, eBooks will surpass Print books in terms of sales within 2-3 years.”  Apparently this has held up in the UK as well, where the Kindle has experienced even more rapid adoption than in the US, with Kindle books already outselling hardcovers at a rate of 2-1. They also make note of the fact that Kindle book sales have managed to triple in the past year and show no sign of tapering off any time soon.  This year over 310 million Kindle books will have been sold and next year we are looking at perhaps as many as 751.5 million. That’s a combined total of $3.8 billion from Kindles this year alone and as much as $6.1 billion next year.

Aside from numbers, what does this mean for the Kindle line?  Well, estimates have been favorably improved recently.  Amazon is now projected to sell 17.5 million Kindles this year and perhaps 26 million in 2012.  In addition, the success of the Kindle w/ Special Offers, which has managed to become Amazon’s best selling eReader so far in the short time it has been available, lends merit to the idea that we may see a Kindle priced under $100 by the end of this year. According to many analysts, this is the tipping point whereat the Kindle can feasibly become an impulse buy for customers rather than an investment, giving it that much more influence over the eReading and Publishing marketplaces.

Interestingly, none of the Citi analysis’s predictions for the remainder of 2011 or 2012 make any note of the potential merits of the upcoming Kindle Tablet.  While it has not been officially confirmed, which may well be the reason for the exclusion, it is hard to do research on Amazon at the moment without finding some information pointing out what’s coming.  Given Citi’s use of actual numbers in their sales figures and projections, something that they certainly didn’t get from the notoriously tight-lipped Amazon, it is clear that they go more than a bit beyond press releases and PR interviews.  It could have been interesting to see what their take was.


Kindle Books Hit New Milestone: Beating Out Paperbacks

So, as I recall it was last summer when Kindle books began beating out purchases of Hardcovers on the Amazon site.  This was a big deal because it illustrated for people that eBooks were pretty clearly here to stay in a way that previous announcements of numbers (not that Amazon was the company making any involving numbers) and vague statements about the future of the industry couldn’t do.  Now, Amazon(NASDAQ:AMZN) has issued a release announcing that in addition to achieving their first ever $10 Billion quarter, Kindle books are now outselling paperbacks by a fair amount.

Specifically, there are 115 Kindle Editions going out for every 100 paperbacks.  There’s really no way to significantly top that as a milestone, that I can think of.  From here on out, it’s all going to be iterations of the same.  “Twice as many as paperbacks” and that sort of thing.  A similar bit of info was put into the press release to tell us that over the same period as that being measures for that comparison with paperbacks, Kindle books outsold hardcovers by a factor of three.  So, yeah.  Big year.

Now, Amazon has a reputation for only giving us rather fuzzy numbers when it comes to anything having to do with the Kindle.  We know that Kindle device sales numbers for the most recent generation are in the millions, but no more than that other than that they’re a bigger seller than the ever popular Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Nice to have some sort of reference point, of course, but hardly anything you can do specific analysis with.

Overall, good news, but it’s hard to say how good.  We know that Kindle sales, and therefore almost certainly Kindle book sales, are up.  The apps that they release for practically every possible platform with a screen, portable or otherwise, are ever more available and easy to use.  This is good news for Kindle Edition sales as well.  The only thing that we’re vague on right now is how good.  No word if part of it involves a decline in paperback sales, or if half the sales for the year were immediately post-Christmas.  There’s simply no way to determine if there was something huge making this possible.  Was it, however unlikely, the announcement of Kindle for Windows Mobile 7 that put sales over the edge?  The world may never know…

Regardless, some other points of fun information were included as well.  There are now over 810,000 Kindle Editions for sale through the Kindle Store(and that excludes all free books, since that would bring it up into the millions).  Of those books, over 670,000 are available for under $10. While I would love to have solid numbers on the Under $5 range, that’s still encouraging.  Wider acceptance means better selection and hopefully more opportunities for readers.  Maybe next year, Amazon won’t have any reason to point out that their sales number comparison didn’t exclude books with no Kindle Edition counterpart because that will be so rare as to not be an issue.  Ok, yeah, that one’s probably a good way off yet, but it’ll be nice when we do see it. Books For Kindle Count

Today I decided to take a break from Kindle 3 Reviews and do something I didn’t do for a long time – crunch some dry Amazon Kindle Store numbers.

I’ve been tracking number of books and blogs for Kindle since March 2009. Previously I published these numbers on a monthly basis. With Kindle 3 released and getting great reviews it’s time I did so again. Books for Kindle Count Books for Kindle Count

There were 242,488 Kindle books when I started keeping track back in March 2009. Since then this number almost tripled to become 685,380. By looking at the graph you can see that apart from bump here and there the number of Kindle books still grows in a linear fashion. Largest spike to date (roughly 70K books) was in May 2010. books by Genre books by Genre

As you can see the majority of growth happened in non-fiction and history genres. Now lets dig deeper into smaller categories. Book For Kindle By Genre Book For Kindle By Genre

If you look at this graph carefully you will see that back in 2009 “Comics & Graphic Novels” and “Cooking, Food & Wine” categories didn’t exist at all. They first appeared in October 2009 and May 2009 respectively. Blogs For Kindle Count Blogs For Kindle Count

Number of blogs more than doubled since I started keeping track and just crossed 10,000 mark several days ago. Although you can only subscribe to blogs that published themselves on Amazon Marketplace, you can still read the rest in the browser. Although this is not as convenient. Blogs For Kindle By Category Blogs For Kindle By Category

As you can see, most of the growth can be attributed to “Lifestyle & Culture” category.

So effectively the amount of content available for Kindle more than doubled over last 18 months. Impressive, isn’t it? But if we look past raw numbers, the picture can definitely be better. eBook industry right now is where digital music industry was years ago. Publishers are still wary of the new technology and sometimes don’t want to deal with it. While Amazon as a store works hard to get the most bang for the buck by signing on books from bestseller lists (and I have to admit they do a good job at it too) many great by not so currently popular books stay overboard.

Try searching for Robert Heinlein books on Kindle for example. You’ll find only six. But don’t rush to trade your Kindle in for Nook, Sony eReader or even iPad – you will find exactly the same selection there – I’ve checked. However if you head over to pretty much any torrent tracker you will find full Heinlein bibliography floating around in zipped PDF files. Find out how to open ZIP file. So while publishers cling to their old business models or argue who is going to charge whom and how much, books are being pirated because there is absolutely no way to get these and other works of literature in digital form. Hopefully it will get better just as it did with music industry.

I’ll wrap up with the usual daily Kindle 3 checkup. There are 264 (up 44 from yesterday) Kindle 3 reviews so far on with the following breakdown: 179 – 5 positive star, 42 – 4 star, 10 – 3 star, 10 – 2 star, 23 – 1 negative star. Kindle 3 is still backordered until September 17th.

Kindle Books from March 2009 to May 2010

Kindle Book Count 2009-2010It has been 14 months since I monitor Kindle book store size on a daily basis. I started it in April 2009. Back then Kindle software 2.0.2 was just released, Amazon was being sued by Discovery Communications and Amazon itself was sending DMCA takedown notes to, Fujitsu FLEPia was expected to take eReader market by storm with it’s color eInk and first rumors about what would become 9.7″ Kindle DX surfaced. Kindle Book Store just broke 250,000 book margin back then…

Now there are 510,000+ books in Kindle Store and counting. I used to publish Kindle book numbers on a monthly basis but then I got lazy. It is time to fix this and publish all 14 months worth of data at once!

As you can see, the book count was increasing in more or less linear fashion. There may be some seasonality or irregularities to it. Hard to say since one year is clearly not enough to spot seasonal trends (if they exist in publishing industry).

Month Book Count
March, 2009 242,488
April, 2009 258,210
May, 2009 274,996
June , 2009 295,420
July, 2009 309,410
August, 2009 336,865
September, 2009 349,661
October, 2009 342,556
November, 2009 368,748
December, 2009 385,497
January, 2010 401,894
February, 2010 415,370
March, 2010 451,280
April, 2010 480,277
May, 2010 509,349

October 2009 Summary

If you recall, there was a massive drop in book numbers in the last day of September. Well during the first week of October these books came back. So if we disregard this anomaly and consider 357,724 to be the final count for September, then with the final count for October being 368,373 we get an average of 343 books per day added. Otherwise if we take 372,556 to be the initial count then average increase would be 835.

Kindle Book Count for October 2009

Kindle Book Count for October 2009

The number of Kindle blogs increased from 7,179 to 7,355 (+176) giving us 5.7 new blogs per day on average. Notice weekly sharp drops. It looks like Amazon is either reviewing blogs on a weekly basis or they are just pruning out stale/dead blogs periodically. If you know of a blog that was on Kindle and no longer is – please let me know. This blog is still there – alive and well.

Kindle Blog Count for October 2009

Kindle Blog Count for October 2009

As for events, there were several major Kindle related themes in October 2009:

I’ve been quite busy with different things during the month of November so I didn’t blog as much. I know it’s almost time to be writing November summary, but better late than never.

Kindle International Coverage Update Before Launch

I’ve been keeping track of the number of books that is available to every country with the intent of publishing the delta like the previous one. However in the last couple of days updates were so many that it doesn’t make sense to highlight any country in particular. Pretty much every since one has gotten 10..80K extra books between the announcement of international Kindle release and the actual ship date which is today. The few countries that didn’t see any change were the ones who started with high book counts to begin with (more than 280,000).

After the release of international Kindle was announced, several people have complained that many interesting books were not available to their non-US Amazon accounts. Hopefully these changes should at least partially solve this problem.

If you have previously tried to buy a Kindle book and couldn’t because of geographical restrictions, you try it now and drop a comment here whether it worked on not.

Country Ship date Announce date Change
Aland Islands 240,000 160,000 80,000
Albania 250,000 170,000 80,000
American Samoa 260,000 180,000 80,000
Andorra 250,000 170,000 80,000
Angola 250,000 170,000 80,000
Anguilla 290,000 280,000 10,000
Antigua and Barbuda 290,000 290,000
Armenia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Aruba 300,000 290,000 10,000
Australia 280,000 280,000
Austria 290,000 280,000 10,000
Bahamas 290,000 290,000
Barbados 290,000 290,000
Belarus 250,000 170,000 80,000
Belgium 290,000 280,000 10,000
Belize 250,000 170,000 80,000
Benin 250,000 170,000 80,000
Bermuda 250,000 170,000 80,000
Bhutan 250,000 170,000 80,000
Bolivia 260,000 180,000 80,000
Bosnia and Herzegovina 250,000 170,000 80,000
Botswana 250,000 170,000 80,000
Brazil 300,000 290,000 10,000
Bulgaria 250,000 170,000 80,000
Burundi 250,000 170,000 80,000
Cambodia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Cape Verde 250,000 170,000 80,000
Cayman Islands 290,000 290,000
Central African Republic 250,000 170,000 80,000
Colombia 300,000 290,000 10,000
Congo 250,000 170,000 80,000
Cook Islands 250,000 170,000 80,000
Costa Rica 300,000 290,000 10,000
Cote d’Ivoire 240,000 170,000 70,000
Croatia 290,000 280,000 10,000
Cyprus 290,000 280,000 10,000
Czech Republic 290,000 280,000 10,000
Democratic Republic of the Congo 250,000 170,000 80,000
Denmark 290,000 280,000 10,000
Dominica 250,000 170,000 80,000
Dominican Republic 300,000 290,000 10,000
Ecuador 260,000 180,000 80,000
El Salvador 260,000 180,000 80,000
Equatorial Guinea 250,000 170,000 80,000
Estonia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Ethiopia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Falkland Islands 250,000 170,000 80,000
Faroe Islands 250,000 170,000 80,000
Federated States of Micronesia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Fiji 240,000 160,000 80,000
Finland 290,000 280,000 10,000
France 290,000 280,000 10,000
French Guiana 260,000 180,000 80,000
French Polynesia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Gabon 250,000 170,000 80,000
Georgia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Germany 290,000 280,000 10,000
Ghana 240,000 160,000 80,000
Gibraltar 250,000 170,000 80,000
Greece 290,000 280,000 10,000
Greenland 260,000 180,000 80,000
Grenada 290,000 290,000
Guadeloupe 290,000 290,000
Guam 300,000 290,000 10,000
Guatemala 260,000 180,000 80,000
Guernsey 240,000 160,000 80,000
Guinea-Bissau 250,000 170,000 80,000
Guyana 300,000 290,000 10,000
Haiti 260,000 180,000 80,000
Holy See 250,000 170,000 80,000
Honduras 260,000 180,000 80,000
Hong Kong 290,000 280,000 10,000
Hungary 290,000 280,000 10,000
Iceland 290,000 280,000 10,000
India 280,000 270,000 10,000
Ireland 280,000 280,000
Italy 290,000 280,000 10,000
Jamaica 300,000 290,000 10,000
Japan 290,000 280,000 10,000
Jersey 240,000 160,000 80,000
Kenya 250,000 170,000 80,000
Kiribati 250,000 170,000 80,000
Lao People’s Democratic Republic 250,000 170,000 80,000
Latvia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Lesotho 250,000 170,000 80,000
Liberia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Liechtenstein 250,000 170,000 80,000
Lithuania 250,000 170,000 80,000
Luxembourg 290,000 280,000 10,000
Macao 250,000 170,000 80,000
Macedonia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Madagascar 250,000 170,000 80,000
Malawi 250,000 170,000 80,000
Malta 250,000 170,000 80,000
Marshall Islands 250,000 170,000 80,000
Martinique 300,000 290,000 10,000
Mauritius 250,000 170,000 80,000
Mayotte 250,000 170,000 80,000
Mexico 290,000 290,000
Moldova 250,000 170,000 80,000
Monaco 250,000 170,000 80,000
Mongolia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Montenegro 250,000 170,000 80,000
Montserrat 250,000 170,000 80,000
Mozambique 250,000 170,000 80,000
Myanmar 240,000 160,000 80,000
Namibia 240,000 160,000 80,000
Nauru 250,000 170,000 80,000
Nepal 250,000 170,000 80,000
Netherlands 290,000 290,000
Netherlands Antilles 300,000 280,000 20,000
New Caledonia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Nicaragua 260,000 180,000 80,000
Niue 250,000 170,000 80,000
Norfolk Island 240,000 170,000 70,000
Northern Mariana Islands 260,000 180,000 80,000
Norway 290,000 280,000 10,000
Palau 250,000 170,000 80,000
Panama 260,000 180,000 80,000
Papua New Guinea 250,000 170,000 80,000
Paraguay 260,000 180,000 80,000
Peru 300,000 290,000 10,000
Philippines 290,000 290,000
Poland 290,000 280,000 10,000
Portugal 290,000 280,000 10,000
Puerto Rico 260,000 180,000 80,000
Reunion 250,000 170,000 80,000
Romania 250,000 170,000 80,000
Russia 290,000 280,000 10,000
Rwanda 250,000 170,000 80,000
Saint Kitts and Nevis 250,000 170,000 80,000
Saint Lucia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 250,000 170,000 80,000
Samoa 250,000 170,000 80,000
San Marino 250,000 170,000 80,000
Sao Tome and Principe 250,000 170,000 80,000
Serbia 240,000 170,000 70,000
Seychelles 250,000 170,000 80,000
Slovakia 240,000 170,000 70,000
Slovenia 250,000 170,000 80,000
Solomon Islands 250,000 170,000 80,000
South Africa 240,000 160,000 80,000
Spain 290,000 280,000 10,000
Sri Lanka 250,000 170,000 80,000
Suriname 260,000 180,000 80,000
Swaziland 250,000 170,000 80,000
Sweden 290,000 280,000 10,000
Switzerland 290,000 280,000 10,000
Taiwan 290,000 280,000 10,000
Tanzania 250,000 170,000 80,000
Timor-Leste 250,000 170,000 80,000
Togo 250,000 170,000 80,000
Tonga 250,000 170,000 80,000
Trinidad and Tobago 300,000 290,000 10,000
Turks and Caicos Islands 260,000 180,000 80,000
Tuvalu 250,000 170,000 80,000
Uganda 250,000 170,000 80,000
Ukraine 250,000 170,000 80,000
United Kingdom 280,000 280,000
Uruguay 260,000 180,000 80,000
Vanuatu 250,000 170,000 80,000
Venezuela 260,000 180,000 80,000
Viet Nam 290,000 280,000 10,000
Virgin Islands, British 290,000 280,000 10,000
Virgin Islands, U.S. 260,000 180,000 80,000
Wallis and Futuna 250,000 170,000 80,000
Zambia 240,000 160,000 80,000
Zimbabwe 240,000 160,000 80,000


Kindle International Coverage Update

Amazon Kindle 2Since I published the Kindle International Coverage table it already became outdated as Amazon has made roughly 10,000 books available to several countries. I have updated and table now. I’ll make another check on the 19th when Kindle 2 international ships and then I’ll post updates on a weekly basis.

Here is the summary of changes:

  • Bolivia from 180,000 to 190,000
  • Botswana from 170,000 to 180,000
  • Bouvet Island from 170,000 to 180,000
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands from 170,000 to 180,000
  • Ecuador from 180,000 to 190,000
  • El Salvador from 180,000 to 190,000
  • French Guiana from 180,000 to 190,000
  • Greenland from 180,000 to 190,000
  • Guatemala from 180,000 to 190,000
  • Haiti from 180,000 to 190,000
  • Honduras from 180,000 to 190,000
  • Jamaica from 290,000 to 300,000
  • Mayotte from 170,000 to 180,000
  • New Caledonia from 170,000 to 180,000
  • Nicaragua from 180,000 to 190,000
  • Northern Mariana Islands from 180,000 to 190,000
  • Palau from 170,000 to 180,000
  • Panama from 180,000 to 190,000
  • Papua New Guinea from 170,000 to 180,000
  • Paraguay from 180,000 to 190,000
  • Reunion from 170,000 to 180,000
  • Suriname from 180,000 to 190,000
  • Trinidad and Tobago from 290,000 to 300,000
  • Uruguay from 180,000 to 190,000
  • Venezuela from 180,000 to 190,000
  • Wallis and Futuna from 170,000 to 180,000

When Kindle International was originally annouced several many people complained that book selection that is available outside of the US is inferior to what is available to American customers. I guess Amazon is well aware of the problem and are working on negotiating more deals with local and international publishers to expand the eBook selection.

September 2009 Summary

There were some oddities with Kindle content count in the month of September. Just look at these graphs below…

Kindle book count was steadily increasing at 280 books per day for the entire month and Kindle store was about to post a gain of 8K+ books for the month when on the last day there was a sudden drop of 15,245 books. So final monthly delta ended up being -7,131 books with average loss of 238 books per day. I’ve checked today and the numbers are still way down, so it wasn’t a one day thing. So the final count is 342,479. This is about as many books as there were in the beginning of August.

Kindle Book Count for September 2009

Kindle Book Count for September 2009

Similar sharp drop happened in Kindle Blogs on the 5th of September. 222 blogs were eliminated from the marketplace. If we disregard this drop, number of blogs was increasing at around 10 new blogs per day which is still fewer than August gains. However with this drop factored the number of blogs increased by only 8. By the way, BlogKindle is still there on the marketplace and you can subscribe to it using your Kindle.

Kindle Blog Count for September 2009

Kindle Blog Count for September 2009

Perhaps Amazon decided to do some house cleaning and eliminate low quality and duplicate content. Perhaps they have made the admission rules more strict. This seems to contrast with Sony/Google strategy of piling in as much public domain content (which is mainly low quality or outdated) to impress customers with raw book numbers.

And finally, here’s a recoup of what happened in the month of September:

August 2009 Summary

It’s time to publish previous month stats and summaries again.

Kindle book count had several ups and downs during the month of August, finally settling at 349,610 (just 390 books shy of 350K) for an overall increase of 13,713 that translates to 442 books per day on average. This is 3 times lower than previous month gain, in fact this is the slowest growth I’ve observed since I’ve started counting Kindle books this year. I hope Amazon will pick up it’s pace or my book count predictions might be off. If I were to speculate, I would guess that Amazon is periodically prunning self-published books to avoid incidents similar to the one with Orwell books.

Kindle Book Count August 2009

Kindle Book Count August 2009

Kindle blogs, on the other hand, saw a healthy increase of 807 (almost twice as many as in July) ending at 7,171. This is 26 new blogs per day on average. Although if you look at the chart you can see that majority of the blogs were added on the 12th. If I were to speculate again I would guess that Amazon was holding off on approving blogs until they’ve internally decided on some kind of policy. Either that ot they’ve struck some kind of wholesale deal with some blog mogul.

Kindle Blog Count August 2009

Kindle Blog Count August 2009

And now a brief recoup of August 2009 Kindle news:

July 2009 Summary

It took me a bit longer than usual to come up with the summary but here goes…

Kindle book count increased 41,016 (13.8%) in the month of July with final count being 335,897. Notice odd fluctuations between the 9th and 14th. Perhaps some publisher couldn’t make up their mind… Besides that book growth was linear at about 1,300 books per day.

Kindle Book Count July 2009

Kindle Book Count July 2009

As for Kindle blogs, there were 445 (7.5%) new blogs in July with final count being 6,364. It looks like bloggers are loosing interest in Amazon Kindle as publishing blog platform. The growth was linear with a rate of 14 new blogs per day. As for, it more than doubled its number of Kindle subscribers.

Kindle Blog Count July 2009

Kindle Blog Count July 2009

Since there were no major changes in subject disstibution compared to June 2009, I’m going to skip these charts this month.

Here’s a scoop of what happened in July 2009: