When is a book more than a book? Legible Inc. (READ:CSE; D0T:FSE; OTC:LEBGF) founder and CEO Kaleeg Hainsworth has a ready answer: When it's a Legible Living Book – an eBook with added multimedia content such as video, audio, or animation.
Living Books are just one promising page in Legible's ever-growing volume of eBook innovations.
Legible.com is an innovative browser-first and device-agnostic book entertainment platform for readers and publishers alike. So, as Hainsworth told Streetwise Reports in a recent interview, "We allow people to read when, where, and how they want," unlike other platforms.
Being browser-first also gives Legible "a more globalized and accessible market," he says, "because people don't need to buy into the device industry" to access the content they want.
Yet another advantage: "We can render content more beautifully." Along with accessibility, sustainability, and integrity, beauty is one of Legible's four core values. That goes back to Hainsworth's previous experience in the digital publishing business, where he's been since 1997. "[Of] all the thousands of [digital] books that I have made," he told us, "I actually never read one. I couldn't stomach the way that they were presented."
It wasn't until Legible was launched that "I had my first experience of actually thoroughly enjoying reading a digital book," explained Hainsworth.
He had finally become his own satisfied customer.
Which brings us back to those Living Books. They're one of the innovations that will be available to customers when the company launches its subscription service, called Legible Community, in the spring of 2022. Users can already read individual books on Legible's live beta site.
But those book purchases are just one of six revenue streams in the pipeline.
Legible Community, the subscription stream, will provide readers with "a fluid, all-you-can-read access experience...a highly merchandised front-of-store offering, and a deep backlist of titles behind it," per the company's January 2022 Letter to Shareholders.
It's like an Apple Music or a Netflix for books. All you need is an internet connection (though an app will be available for offline reading as well). Subscribers can "sign in and enjoy, share, and create bookshelves with all the books in Legible's subscription catalogue, which will offer the latest titles on a broad range of subjects, without barriers," the shareholder letter explained.
The barriers that Legible aims to break down include international barriers, educational barriers, and language barriers. Being browser-first enables the platform to include "every language that has been prepared for the Internet already" and to "pioneer more language support, even for languages that are still oral and are developing into written languages."
Close to home, for example, Legible has worked with an indigenous nation, once wrongly declared extinct, to create a Living Book "that includes all of the video of them telling their stories, the text of those stories, and information about them as a people, their language, with audio snippets that allow people to hear how the words are spoken, and what they mean, and beautiful animations based on their art."
Legible is also taking aim at the barriers faced by readers with limited income, and by the 1.85 billion people on the planet with disabilities. The company recently brought on Laura Brady, an international accessibility expert, as Head of Accessibility – another of those four core values.
Enabling all these innovations is a recent reverse takeover in which Legible Inc. (formerly Twenty20 Investments Inc.) acquired all of Legible Media's issued and outstanding securities. The merger, Hainsworth explained, "has allowed us access to the capital we need for global expansion, feature developments, and activating our marketing propositions in order to really drive top-line growth on our business model."
Many partnerships and much technology infrastructure is already in place to fuel that growth.
Legible already merchandises books from three of the world's five largest publishers (Hachette, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster); has contracted with the world's largest book distributor, CoreSource® from Ingram Content Group; and, furthering its reach into the education demographic, made Scholastic Canada titles available on the site, among other deals and partnerships.
To back up its browser-based reading system, the company has developed a suite of backend capabilities. A custom AI (called the Librarian™) handles search, recommendation, reporting, analytics, content scans, and publishing. A Publishing Ingestion Pipeline can quickly ingest titles and enter them into a database system that hosts and will make the titles globally available, with metadata. A data analytics system captures site use and engagement. Bookshelf technology enables curated and user-created bookshelves. And a PubOps system tracks readership and processes payments.
Another revenue stream coming on in the Spring of 2022, is sponsored bookshelves, and additional revenue streams including book rental and free ad-supported reading are in development. Wai-Ming Yu, the former Ontario Board Chair of the Information Technology Association of Canada, recently came on board as Chief Revenue Officer.
When is an eBook platform more than an eBook platform? In Hainsworth's vision, it's one that can facilitate "a global voice of many cultures, many histories, many perspectives, being able to share and talk about their stories, their wisdom, their experience, and being able to speak into an increasingly complex world." Enter Legible.com, a global company aiming to give people around the world a frictionless reading experience.
Legible.com is publicly listed on the CSE under the symbol "READ",on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FSE) under the symbol "D0T”, and on the OTC Pink at “LEBGF." At the time of writing, its market capitalization is at CA $29.83 million with 62.8M shares outstanding and share price of CA $0.48.
1) Jon Sobel compiled this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an independent contractor. He or members of his household own securities of the following companies mentioned in the article: None. He/she or members of his/her household are paid by the following companies mentioned in this article: None. His/her company has a financial relationship with the following companies referred to in this article: None.
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