Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart.com has entered into a distribution deal with US-based aggregator and digital distributor Publish On Demand Global (PODG) to enable US independent authors and publishers gain access to readers in India.
The deal was finalised last month, and as part of the partnership, Flipkart will allow all digital content distributed through PODG's network to be made available for sale in India to any reader with an Android, iOS or Windows 8 device. Additionally, Flipkart will also make PODG's full store front available via its website for those who prefer desktop viewing.
PODG, through its partners and affiliates, currently provides services (print books, eBooks, mobile books and tablet books) to approximately 10,000 authors and publishers around the world. Earlier this year, PODG had entered into a print distribution partnership with Flipkart, as well as its direct competitor Infibeam.com.
"It has been three weeks since we left Delhi and our books are already live on Flipkart.com which is stellar. Deals never happen this fast in China. With a market size of 1.2 billion and a literacy rate of 74 per cent and growing India could very well be the next China for the US publishing industry," said Kait Neese, managing director of PODG.
Flipkart.com claims to have over 10 million registered users, and is getting 1 million visitors on a daily basis. According to a study, the platform holds more than 75 per cent market share for online book sales in India. Last August, the company had launched its eBooks app for three new platforms—iOS, Windows Phone and PC browsers (the Android version was launched in late November 2012).
During the same time, Flipkart also entered into an agreement with US-based indie eBook distributor Smashwords, Inc. for enabling publishers and authors to distribute eBooks through the company's e-commerce portal. As part of the partnership, Smashwords' eBook store was made available on Flipkart's site as well as its e-reading apps for Android, iOS and Microsoft Windows 8 platforms.
Earlier this month, Flipkart.com had announced that it hit $1 billion revenue run rate in GMV (gross merchandise value), one year before its target. Revenue run rate is the projected revenues based on sales in a month. The statement, in effect, means Flipkart sold products worth around $83 million or around Rs 500 crore last month. In comparison, India's largest retailer Reliance Retail reported sales of close to Rs 4,000 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2013.
"In March 2011, we had announced that by 2015 we wanted to hit $1 billion in GMV. At that point in time, our run rate was $10 million. Today, we are really proud to announce that we have hit a run rate of $1 billion GMV one year before our target," Flipkart's co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal had said at the time.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)