When it comes to online content, consumers by and large prefer to pay for it in attention rather than currency. As a result, it's no surprise that far more publishers have built successful ad-based business models than paid content business models.
Advertising, of course, usually isn't a path to easy money for publishers. Yes, advertisers love the internet, but digital still accounts for a minority of total ad spending, and advertisers generally pay less for digital ads than traditional ads.
For many industries, digital technology is both destroyer and savior. Take the newspaper and music industries, for instance. The internet is frequently blamed for their demise, yet new technologies are also expected by many to help save them.
When it comes to how digital is killing and saving established industries, book publishing may not grab the most headlines, but it is arguably one of the most affected.
It's no surprise that Amazon is launching an app store for Android. The ecommerce giant has come a long way since it started selling books online. Today, Amazon is rapidly evolving into a content company. And mobile apps are already a big part of the digital content business.
But despite Amazon's brand and size, there's no guarantee that it will become a successful player in the mobile app space. Apple is the 800 pound gorilla, and history isn't exactly conclusive when it comes to Amazon versus Apple. While Amazon's Kindle seems to be holding its own with the iPad, its MP3 store has hardly put a dent in the success of iTunes.
Yes, it’s that time of the year again: time for the lists and discussions
about the best of 2010 and what’s ahead in 2011. I’m keeping my first
list simple by trying to answer just one question: What are the ad units/ad
platforms to watch out for in 2011?
Hint: None of them involve users accessing the web via desktop or laptop.
Ebooks have been called the cornerstone of a new literary economy, and
blamed for the slow death of so-called “tree books.” But
recent spats between publishers and Amazon over pricing, and Apple over
content control, have made the ebook market seem slightly less rosy.
Now, Google could change the game (again) with
the long-awaited launch of Google Editions, its “universal format”
Apple's iPad may have struck fear in the hearts of e-book makers when it launched three months ago, but the e-book market continues to grow.
This week, Amazon revealed strong sales for its Kindle device during its earnings call. And Amazon's price performance with the Kindle and its e-books could be enough to continue that growth.
Book publishers, like record labels before them, are struggling to
adapt to the digital world. And their struggles are only growing larger
thanks to the growing e-book market, where a price war has broken out.
The price war, which has driven down the cost of e-book bestsellers, is
of concern to book publishers for several big reasons, a primary one being that low-priced e-books
could potentially devalue their physical counterparts.
Apple's big announcement came and went this morning with more than a few surprises and disappointments (including a name that has made some women less than happy). But one unexpected announcement — a price point at less than half expected estimates — leaves a question unanswered. If the iPad only costs $499, is this
the end of the Kindle?
Apple is certainly gunning for Kindle territory. After presenting the odd juxtaposition of Steve Jobs standing in front of a Kindle today, the Apple founder took a jab aimed directly at the heart of Amazon's e-reader business.
Frequent online book purchasers: Amazon has a proposition for you. If you purchase an Amazon Kindle in the next five days, you can get it, try it and potentially keep it for free.
If that offer sounds too good to be true, there's one thing to keep in mind — Amazon's one time offer ends just one day before the Apple Tablet drops.
Some believe that ebooks, and accompanying ebook readers like the Kindle, are the future of print publishing. But for now, it appears that publishers are more likely to see them as a potential industry-killer.
Case in point: two large publishers, Simon & Schuster and Hachette Book Group, announced the other day that they'd delay releasing ebook versions of some new books for four months after the hardcovers hit the shelves. The reason? It's one way to fight back against the lowly prices seen in the ebook market, where most bestsellers now cost less than $10.