Apps Foundry's Scoop Gets a Web Store and an Exclusive Deal with Gramedia Publishing
Instagram isn't the only mobile first service getting a proper web interface this morning as Apps Foundry announced that its Indonesian e-reader app Scoop now has a web store. While previously all purchases on Scoop had to be made from within mobile devices, from today, books and magazines can also be purchased from computers and have them sent to mobile devices. Additionally, Scoop has signed a deal with Gramedia Books Publishing Group to distribute their books and novels online exclusively on Scoop.
To push adoption of the web store, Scoop is offering a significant discount for purchases made on the web store of up to 91% off the cover price. For those who subscribe to magazines or newspapers through Scoop, the company is giving away the second year for free, effectively making it a two year subscription for the price of one.
Gramedia Publishing is making over 10,000 of its 50,000 books and novels available online exclusively through Scoop, more than doubling Scoops's current range of titles. Wandi S. Brata, Vice Group Director of Gramedia Group of Book Publishing said that this deal will help to distribute Gramedia's collection across Indonesia and beyond, faster and more efficiently, by having them available online and distributed directly to people's handheld devices.
Having web access to Scoop's online store is expected to boost download and subscription numbers since it can sometimes be more convenient to browse and shop using a traditional computer than through mobile devices. Although the web store only supports PayPal for the time being, Scoop is working on adding other payment options.
Launched in late 2010, Scoop had 300,000 downloads after its first year and according to Tech In Asia, it now has "500,000 downloads with 85 percent of its revenue from iOS". Despite the growth in Android adoption in Indonesia, it seems that it hasn't translated significantly to Scoop's growth. Though it launched the Android app in May of 2012, and there are far more Android users in the country than iOS users, its revenue from Android subscribers is a mere 15%. While it says a lot about Android users as well as the reading habits of Indonesians, it also paints a challenging future for Scoop.
Apps Foundry needs to make a decision on the future of Scoop. Certainly there's money to be made from this market but the company may have to run a major campaign promoting reading to Indonesians, especially to the gadget-oriented consumers, if it wants to be able to sustain the company in the long term and expand its market. Fortunately it has Gramedia as a partner and there's perhaps no better partner that it can have in the industry. Alternatively, Scoop can probably look at other markets as well, if not already, through its partnership with Thailand's Ookbee.
On a related note, there's a curious point about Scoop's availability. On the website, as well as on its press releases, Scoop lists app availability on the App Store and Google Play, but the app is actually also available on the Indonesian Windows Phone Store for Windows Phone 8.