Thanks in part to the bankruptcy of rival bookstore chain Borders, and likely also helped by the introduction of the Nook Tablet, overall sales were higher during the nine week period leading up to Christmas than the same period last year.
More notably, sales of their Nook line of eReaders and tablets were up 70% from last year. Sales of digital content also improved significantly, up 113% from 2010.
While the Kindle Fire got the lion's share of attention over that period, don't forget it was Barnes & Noble's Nook Color which successfully bridged the gap between eReader and tablet a year earlier. Now the company is looking at the possibility of developing a separate content ecosystem for it.
Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch said:
We see substantial value in what we've built with our NOOK business in only two years, and we believe it's the right time to investigate our options to unlock that value,. In NOOK, we've established one of the world's best retail platforms for the sale of digital copyright content. We have a large and growing installed base of millions of satisfied customers buying digital content from us, and we have a NOOK business that's growing rapidly year-over-year and should be approximately $1.5 billion in comparable sales this fiscal year. Between continued projected growth in the U.S., and the opportunity for NOOK internationally in the next 12 months, we expect the business to continue to scale rapidly for the foreseeable future.
No doubt they are looking at Amazon's move into the content industry over the last few years and seeing a lot of potential to sell more content, which would sell more tablets, which might then sell even more content.
And, of course, the future of digital content looks significantly brighter in the long term than physical media, whether that be books, music, video, or anything else.
Written by: Rich Fiscus @ 5 Jan 2012 15:51