Barnes & Noble can’t stem the losses from its digital books and device division, as the Nook department saw revenues drop 20.2 percent year over year according to the company’s just-released quarterly earnings report. Nook earned $153 million, and that’s up sequentially from $108 million despite the yearly decline.
Nook hardware fared the worst, dropping 23.1 percent year over year while sales of digital content for Nook apps and devices dropped 15.8 percent. B&N partly blames the decrease in content sales on poor Nook tablet and reader sales, but also on outside factors. Specifically, B&N calls out the fact that this year there wasn’t either a Hunger Games or a 50 Shades of Grey trilogy to drive consumer content purchases. Retail was down 9.9 percent year over year, with revenues of $1 billion total, covering business from physical and online stores.
Overall, the company seemed keen to express continued support of its Nook offerings via the earnings release. Board Chairman Leonard Riggio suspended an offer he had planned to make on the company’s retail business, saying that instead B&N needs to focus on building its 10 million Nook owning customers, and to increase sales of Nook devices both in stores and online. That means Nook will continue to operate in tandem with the retail business, rather than the two divisions being split up into separate companies.
Nook Media CEO Michael P. Huseby also said in a statement that the Nook line will continue to be offered “at the best values in the marketplace,” and that “at least one” new Nook product will be coming for the holiday season, with others in development for beyond that. No mention was made of the plan revealed last time around to open up Nook development to outside OEMs, but the conference call is at 10 AM ET this morning, so we’ll update if any new information comes to light at that time.