Early in April, Canadian digital content distributor De Marque announced it had acquired Libranda, the large distributor of Spanish-language digital content. De Marque is a global leader in multilingual e-book distribution and was looking to add more languages to its roster. “Of course, Spanish is the global language we needed to add,” says Marc Boutet, the company’s president and cofounder. De Marque’s relationship with Libranda began four years ago when the former became a Libranda shareholder.
Launched in 2010 and founded by several Spanish publishing houses, Barcelona-based Libranda now distributes more than 70,000 e-books and audiobooks to an extensive network of bookstores, libraries, and digital content subscription platforms across Spain, throughout Latin America, and in the U.S. With the purchase of Libranda, Boutet feels De Marque has upped its presence within the growing U.S. Spanish-language e-book market.
According to Libranda’s latest digital book report, 62% of all sales of Spanish-language e-books are in Spain, with Mexico (12%), the U.S. (10%), and Argentina (4.8%) in second, third, and fourth places, respectively.
According to Boutet, De Marque has a growing retail program, and one of the key markets for it is e-lending—lending to public and private libraries. “That’s the growing market in Mexico and Argentina,” he says. The growth in e-lending in Argentina in particular has helped drive the overall e-book market there, with total units up 24% in 2017 from 2016, according to Libranda’s report. “[Acquiring Libranda] allows us to extend our [existing] partnerships to other levels and open new [channels] in Latin America,” says Boutet, who reiterated that local libraries are a major point of interest, as well as corporations in Latin America.