10 years and 5 million tolinos sold
10 years of tolino: the eReading alliance fosters further growth
tolino is celebrating 5 million eReaders sold and a 44 percent market share in the eBook area – and wants to grow even more
Strengthening our innovative and competitive capacity through long-term extension of collaboration with international technology partner Rakuten Kobo
Beginning our second decade with new features and AI-generated campaigns
joint media information for the tolino alliance
München, 26.04.2023 – Borne from a unique business model, German book retailers Hugendubel, Thalia and Weltbild lay the cornerstone for a true “Made in Germany” success story in 2013 when they launched the first tolino shine. Right from the start, the tolino shine was the price/performance champion in Stiftung Warentest ratings, developing into a true best seller with over 600,000 devices sold. Today, around five million people own a tolino eReader. With a diverse range of services, tolino has developed into an ecosystem that elevates digital reading to an all new level, standing out with a 44 percent share of the digital book market.
More speed for new developments
Ingo Kretzschmar, CEO of Thalia Bücher GmbH, explains: “The tolino partners have extended the contract with their technical partner Kobo. By doing so, all of the partners are declaring their long-term dedication to the alliance. In addition, in the future we will boost our speed for new developments and growth based on a uniform platform. It will combine our forces, increase the speed of innovation, and strengthen the tolino alliance with regards to the competition. As an alliance that combines digital and classic reading experiences, we are also dedicated to supporting young authors. That is why we will also focus on expanding the tolino self-publishing platform. Today, this is tolino’s third-largest publishing house, and helps young authors get started with fair conditions and direct contact with German booksellers, including placement of their printed books in book shops.”
Nina Hugendubel: “Increasing market share to around 50 percent”
Nina Hugendubel, Managing Partner at Hugendubel, adds: “The Alliance’s declared goal is to increase tolino’s market share of eBooks sold to around 50 percent by the end of 2024. We will all need to take the initiative and show solidarity to achieve this goal. We have also invested in an improved ecosystem with new features and services, and are in ongoing processes to design future product developments with an even greater focus on sustainability. In the short-term, our product development focus will center even more on recycled materials. Sustainable product development and durability are supported by powerful, exchangeable batteries and re-loved products, refurbished goods that can be sold once again to save resources.” Even today, the tolino shine 4 eReader is made out of 85 percent recycled materials, and the blue back of the device is made from recycled products recovered from the ocean.
AI-generated campaign to celebrate the tolino anniversary; Victorian woman as the “eye-catching” feature of the advertising campaign
„Be who you want to be”: AI-supported advertising campaign advances growth trajectory
Christian Sailer, CEO of the Weltbild D2C Group: “We want to significantly expand our market position and grow our customer base. That is why we are launching an attention-grabbing campaign with a high investment budget. This is one of Germany’s first AI-generated campaigns. tolino is a driver of growth for the entire book industry because it can open up the door to a colorful, imaginative world of reading and get new target audiences excited about reading.”
The anniversary campaign was launched under the motto “Be who you want to be. With over three million stories in your hand” timed with the start of the Leipzig Book Fair on April 27th. The unique feature of the campaign are exciting motifs that mix figures you might imagine while reading with everyday scenes, motivating you to take a closer look. The message behind the campaign is that you can read on a digital device anywhere, any time, carrying a huge range of stories with you on just one eBook reader. The motifs also highlight the advantages tolino offers. The focus is on out-of-home formats, in order to reach customers on site at brick-and-mortar book shops.
Planned features designed to appeal to a new target audience
In addition to the fiction genre, a new target group focus is designed to reach more readers of non-fiction books and advice books. To appeal to a younger male audience, the tolino Alliance is optimizing its offerings in relevant genres and working on adjacent offerings in comics and manga.
Other new features designed to boost reader convenience include the free DeepL translation function in the tolino app. In addition to customers of our founding partners, customers of more than 1,500 owner-operated book shops connected to the eReading system through Alliance partner Libri benefit from these updates. “As the central eBook supplier for tolino, Libri gives the Alliance and associated book shops access to over 3.7 million German-speaking and international eBooks. The large selection of English-language titles, in particular, is growing in importance to attract the key target audience of young readers” says Alyna Wnukowsky, Libri Management Spokesperson. “Within the tolino Alliance, we act as the decisive link to the many owner-operated book shops, giving readers comprehensive and easy access to digital reading.”
Tailwind for the ebook market
After rising rapidly during coronavirus lockdowns, according to recent market data the digital book market is seeing another upswing: in March, eBook revenues grew by 7.9 percent (source: Media Control Handelspanel), compared to the previous year. Currently, tolino has a market share of 44 percent in this area. The Alliance believes there is further potential in reader sales: today, 17 percent of people in Germany – over eleven million individuals – own an eReader according to GfK. Compared to laptops, smartphones, and tablets, they are by far the preferred device for reading books, as they offer a more comfortable reading experience. The numbers confirm this: 87 percent of eBooks are read on an eReader.