Sony customers shift to Kobo platform

Sony's e-reading customers will shift to the Kobo platform in the US and Canada from March, though no plans have been announced for moves in the UK.

The companies revealed today (6th February) they had struck a deal for Kobo to provide e-books to Sony e-reader and tablet customers. From now on, an app will come pre-loaded on select Sony tablets in the two countries.  Sony said that its Reader Store customers and their current e-book libraries will transfer to the Kobo ecosystem starting in late March. 

Ken Orii, vice president of Digital Reading Business Division at Sony Electronics, said: "Our customers can be assured that they will have a seamless transition to the Kobo ecosystem and will be able to continue to access and read the titles they love from Sony devices."

A spokesperson for Sony in the UK could not confirm if the same shift would take place over here. Instead, she said: "In Europe, we will operate our business based on specific customer needs and the market environment. We have been increasing the number of Reader Store users, especially users who enjoy reading on multiple devices, by expanding the range of compatible devices and enhancing the selection of digital content."

The Sony e-reader store sparked the 20p e-book row in July 2012, when it started selling frontlist titles at 20p in a bid to encourage users to visit its store. Amazon then price-matched the promotion which led to tens of key titles selling for 20p. Sony only ended the promotion in March last year.

New Kobo c.e.o Takahito Aiki said: "Together, millions of customers across the US and Canada will find their next great read at their fingertips any time, any place, and on any device."

Sony said the library transfer process would be "simple and easy" for customers who will receive instructions on how to easily transfer their library to a Kobo account.

Sony's Reader Store will close in late March, but until that time Sony's customers can continue to purchase e-books from the Sony¹s Reader Store, the company said.