Perhaps the biggest news so far this year in the book world is the announcement by Amazon late today that it will acquire Goodreads, the social media book review and recommendation community. Subject to some closing conditions of the deal (the purchase price has not yet been revealed), Amazon will acquire Goodreads in the second quarter of this year. Goodreads has shown extraordinary growth in the author and reading communities and has over 16 million members with more than 30,000 book clubs on the site.
Whether this was a planned move by both companies over the past few weeks or an aggressive move by Amazon, I suspect the online retailer and publisher simply was not prepared to wait around and have another retail competitor pluck this berry from under their noses. The acquisition will I’m sure divide opinion. Some will say Jeff Bezos has just added another layer of bricks onto the Amazon walled garden, others will see it as a real positive for authors and small publishers to combine marketing strategies in a premium review community with the largest online retailer of books. It will also be interesting to see how Amazon integrates Goodreads reviews into its store and whether the bricks of that walled garden will soon include Goodreads to the exclusion of other companies like Kobo.
The full press release:
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mar. 28, 2013–
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Goodreads, a leading site for readers and book recommendations that helps people find and share books they love.
“Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading,” said
Russ Grandinetti, Amazon Vice President, Kindle Content. “Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world. In addition, both Amazon and Goodreads have helped thousands of authors reach a wider audience and make a better living at their craft. Together we intend to build many new ways to delight readers and authors alike.”
“Books – and the stories and ideas captured inside them – are part of our social fabric,” said
Otis Chandler, Goodreads CEO and co-founder. “People love to talk about ideas and share their passion for the stories they read. I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to partner with Amazon and Kindle. We’re now going to be able to move faster in bringing the Goodreads experience to millions of readers around the world. We’re looking forward to inspiring greater literary discussion and helping more readers find great books, whether they read in print or digitally.”
“I just found out my two favorite people are getting married,” said
Hugh Howey, best-selling author of WOOL. “The best place to discuss books is joining up with the best place to buy books – To Be Read piles everywhere must be groaning in anticipation.”
Following the acquisition, Goodreads’s headquarters will remain in
San Francisco, CA. Founded in 2007, Goodreads now has more than 16 million members and there are more than 30,000 books clubs on the Goodreads site. Over just the past 90 days, Goodreads members have added more than four books per second to the “want to read” shelves on Goodreads.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Subject to various closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.
Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Founded in 2007, Goodreads is where readers find and share books they love. The site has 16 million members who have added more than 530 million books to their shelves and written more than 23 million reviews. Loved by avid and casual readers alike, Goodreads members can discover new books by seeing what their friends are reading or by using the Goodreads Book Recommendation Engine; share ratings and recommendations; track what they have read, and list what they want to read. Goodreads is also a place where more than 68,000 authors connect with readers. For more information, visit http://www.goodreads.com.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment and data center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect
Amazon.com’s financial results is included in Amazon.com’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.
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