Ingram Content Group has bought Aer.io, a service that allows publishers, retailers and authors to sell and fulfil print and digital books directly to readers via their websites, blogs and social networks.
The acquisition closed on 9th December, with no fee disclosed. Founded five years ago by Ron Martinez, ICG was an early investor through its investment arm Ingram Ventures. Aer.io is direct-to-consumer solution for publishers, that allows them to offer either print or e-books to customers off their own websites for via third-party sites or through social media. The services has been used most notably by HarperCollins. The platform can also be used by booksellers or authors. The acquisition by Ingram will allow it to further integrate its fulfilment services into the Aer.io network.
Marcus Woodburn, vice president digital products Ingram Content Group, said: “The addition of Aer.io addresses our customers’ growing desire to connect more directly with their readers. Aer.io extends the sales network of anyone with a web presence - whether a publisher, author or bookseller - and will provide the ability to sell content worldwide.”
Martinez, chief executive of Aer.io, told The Bookseller that the Are.io team would be retained by Ingram as the fulfilment business invests in the platform. "I'm working with a group on market development for the product" with Ingram's staff. "I'm committed for years to come. As long as they'll have me." He added: "We're delighted to be able to marry Aer.io's diverse marketplace model with the enormous reach of Ingram. As a fully integrated, trusted Ingram service built to scale, we now have an unparalleled opportunity to work with publishers, retailers, media companies and others to grow a vast new network of consumers."
In addition, through Aer.io’s marketing platform Aer.io Flyer, publishers, authors and booksellers can promote e-books and print books with a direct link to buy while taking advantage of Ingram’s global distribution network. Sellers will have access to the full inventory of Ingram’s eBook and print-on-demand catalog, as well as the on-the-shelf inventory at Ingram distribution centers in the US. “Acquiring Aer.io fits perfectly with Ingram’s mission of supporting publishers, bookstores and their mutual customers,” Woodburn said. “It’s a continuation of Ingram’s investment in technology and tools that will positively impact the industry.”
Aer.io rollout in the UK will be in the first quarter of 2016, the company added.