WH Smith has extended its ebook partnership with Kobo for a further four years.
In October 2011 the UK retailer ditched its own ebook store in favour of a partnership with Kobo which sees it sell the firm’s range of ereaders and link through to its online bookstore.
Kobo bosses have previously declined to confirm how partners are compensated but it’s widely understood that the external retailer receives a commission on books purchased through ereaders it sells.
According to WH Smith’s latest market update, the partnership has been extended until 2018.
The update says it’s seeing slowing in the sector’s “rates of growth and value penetration” and adds that “eBooks remain a relatively small proportion of the consumer books market with the biggest penetration in Fiction.”
The document continues: “According to publishers the rate of growth and penetration of eBooks has slowed with value penetration estimated to be around 15% – 18%, with growth closer to 20% than the 100% we have seen in recent years.”
It also hints at some possible changes to the line-up of devices it sells through its stores, stating: “As the focus of eReading moves towards multi-function tablets through apps, our plans with Kobo reflect this.”