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Legible is emerging as a challenger in the fast-growth ebooks and streaming market


Canadian-listed Legible [CSE:READ] is gaining ground quickly as a provider of e-reading and entertainment. It is the only platform streaming a continually expanding catalogue – of around 2m titles at time of writing – backed by multi-media and AI tech. Its core technology offering can change any smart device into an interactive library and bookstore.

According to Legible, traditional reading platforms are limited to serving one-dimensional static ebooks or inert PDFs without modern web enhancements, despite the potential for embedded video, audio, and interactivity. This speaks to a certain level of passivity within the industry which Legible is seeking to exploit.

One of the company’s core products is LibrarianAI which provides readers with customised recommendations. It helps readers to find books that they are more likely to appreciate. Readers can stream and cache ebooks through the Legible app, letting them start a new book, anytime, anywhere, even when offline.

The company also has a purpose-driven program designed to improve literacy globally.

Alliances are key to  growth

Alliances are key to the growth of the company: it has already secured exclusive world-wide print and digital publishing rights to 12 never-before-seen Stan Lee characters and stories, as well as Stan Lee’s Workforce. It has signed four out of the Big Five international publishers as well as hundreds of smaller ones.

Legible CEO and Co-Founder Kaleeg Hainsworth will be participating at The Armchair Trader’s upcoming Beyond the Channel event in London for sophisticated investors. There are still tickets left if you are interested in attending the event.

Legible has also partnered with LiveOne to stream audiobooks and eBooks into millions of cars in North America. The partnership targets the vast, untapped potential of North America’s estimated 351 million cars to promote literature and storytelling. This exclusive strategic partnership makes Legible the first to provide seamless access to audiobook and eBook titles in automobiles.

In Canada, the company has a deal with Metrolinx, which is the country’s biggest large transit authority (more than 70m riders per year). Working with GO Transit, a division of Metrolinx, Legible can give travellers free access to ebooks and samples through the WiFi portal on buses.

What sort of market is Legible competing in?

Unlike competitors like Rakuten Kobo and Audible, Legible is device agnostic. It has scope for global reach, giving it the prospect of maximum international market penetration. It also brings that additional streaming and enriched media offering to the table.

The global eBook market, valued at US$19.95 billion in 2022, is projected to reach US$32.2 billion by 2032, growing at a steady pace of 4.9% annually. The global audiobook market, valued at $5.4 billion in 2022, is set to soar by a punchy 26.4% annually from 2023 to 2030.

Legible looks poised to be how the next one billion will read. In the next decade, millions will gain internet service in formerly underserved regions, using smartphones and browser-based tools.

The company is still at a relatively early stage, having only been incorporated in February 2020, and listed in December 2021. It first exhibited at the London Book Fair in April 2022. It has just launched its app and its Unbound membership scheme. But from small beginnings it has already scored some impressive tie-ups in the last couple of years with large publishers taking it very seriously.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Make sure you do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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