Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Sony To Let Readers Peddle E-Books They Love
TOKYO (Nikkei)--In Sony Corp.'s (6758) new e-book service, readers can boast their knowledge and tastes in literature, recommending their favorite writers and earning extra shopping points in the process.
The Reader Store, Sony's online e-book outlet, was revamped Tuesday for the first time since its launch three years ago, with the goal of catching up to front-runner Amazon.com Inc.
Users can set up virtual bookstores on the site to recommend books and write reviews. Points worth 5% of sales prices are awarded if their recommendations lead to purchases by others.
By "liking" the site on social networking services, including Facebook and Twitter, users can share their reviews elsewhere. If famous bloggers or other Internet personalities set up shop on the site, they can use social media to tout their favorite selections to a wide audience and thus boost sales.
In addition, on Oct. 4 Sony will release the six-inch PRS-T3S e-book reader, the lightest model offered in the country. The unit itself weighs 160 grams, or 200 grams with a separately offered cover, about 20% less than the previous model. It will retail for 9,980 yen at Sony-managed stores.
The Reader Store has been made compatible with Apple Inc.'s iPhone and iPad devices as well. An app for reading purchased comics and magazines will be distributed in mid-October.
The e-book market, which reached 72.9 billion yen in fiscal 2012, is expected to grow to 239 billion yen by fiscal 2017, according to research firm Impress Business Media Corp. Amazon.com likely holds about 40% of the market.
(The Nikkei, Sept. 25 morning edition)