CBC Interview with Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis

There’s an interesting interview by Peter Nowak of the CBC available on the CBC website today. In it, Peter talks to Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis.

The Kobo is, of course, one of the eBook readers that is setting itself up to challenge the Amazon’s Kindle. The Kobo is sold by Borders in the US, and by Indigo/Chapters in Canada.

Michael has an interesting take on this, and compares the early days of online music and online books. He notes that the first time they “cut a deal” with a large publisher to get their books into electronic format and onto the Kobo, it took six months, and “it was pretty painful”. Today, most such negotiations take a lot less time. As little as six days!

Now that’s mainstream.

Also, he realizes that it’s important for device manufacturers to provide easy access to content – just selling the device means nothing, they have to be able to provide the books that people want to read. Sounds obvious, but he pointed out that there were a host of small ebook reader suppliers in the market a few months ago, but most of them have “gone away”.

It’s all about the content, not about the hardware!

Read the full interview on the CBC News site.

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