ENTRIES TAGGED "subscriptions"

Will we ever see a “Spotify for ebooks”?

Join us for a free webcast on April 26 to discuss the subscription model

My music buying habits have definitely changed over the years. I’m doing a lot more streaming now and rarely buying individual tracks or albums. I use Spotify but I also started using Rdio. I’m still in the free trial period for the latter and not sure which, if either, I’ll end up paying for.

One question that seems to keep popping up in the ebook publishing world is, “when will a Spotify for ebooks emerge?” You could argue that a few services already offer unlimited access to free ebook content. Those services are, of course, limited in their breadth. You won’t find any offering all the latest bestsellers, for example, but Spotify and other streaming music services let you listen to plenty of hits.

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Next Issue: Why I recommissioned my old iPad

Their $14.99/month all-you-can-eat option is a winner

I had to take my first-gen iPad out of mothballs for this one. I’m talking about the Next Issue service and app. Like most of you I’ve let my print magazine subscriptions lapse over the past several years. I spend less than $150/year on my remaining subscriptions and more than half of that is just for one, The Week, which is highly recommended, btw. So why would I sign up for an online magazine subscription program that will cost me $15/month, or $180/year? Because it’s terrific.

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Publishing News: DOJ settlement, the aftermath

A look at a looming Amazon monopoly and the DOJ settlement effect on ebook pricing. Also, a chat with The Atavist CEO Evan Ratliff.

Here are a few stories from the publishing space that caught my attention this week.

Digital evolution or government-assisted monopoly?

LA Times writers Dawn C. Chmielewski and Carolyn Kellogg took a look this week at Judge Cotes’ decision to approve the proposed settlement in the ebook price fixing case and the turmoil it’s causing in the publishing industry.

Chmielewski and Kellogg cite a statement by the Author’s Guild “warning that the ruling would turn the clock back to 2010, when Amazon sold 90% of all e-books,” but author and publishing attorney Jonathan Kirsch warned that the decision will have much bigger picture implications:

“By putting the legal approval on this settlement, the district court has pushed us over a certain kind of cliff. In terms of the real-life experiences of publishers, authors and readers, this will represent a fundamental change in how books are published and sold … The court says we recognize that we’re in the birth pangs of a revolution of book selling, but we’re not going to torture the antitrust law into permitting one way of doing business over another way of doing business.”

Literary agent Gary Morris told Chmielewski and Kellogg that Cotes’ decision basically handed Amazon a monopoly and that publishers’ biggest fear is “that by solidifying Amazon’s indispensability as a retailer, they’ll drop wholesale prices to a level that’s unsustainable for the publishing business.” On the other hand, Forrester analyst James McQuivey said for the piece that fighting the digital evolution is folly and that “[t]he companies in a position to focus on digital distribution — which is Amazon and Barnes & Noble — those are the companies positioned to take over.”

In a related piece, LA Times writer Michael Hiltzik dug into the background of the case and the history of Amazon’s position in the ebook market, and laid out how the antitrust suit plays into Amazon’s grand plans to build a monopoly. Hiltzik argues that in pursuing the antitrust suit, “the government walked blithely past the increasing threat of an Amazon monopoly and went after the stakeholders who were trying to keep it from taking root.” And he boils down the overall takeaway from the entire situation:

“[T]he most important concern that should be shared by all participants in the publishing world — readers, publishers, retailers, device manufacturers — is that it’s in no one’s interest to have a single company controlling 90% of the market. No one, that is, except the big player, which is Amazon.”

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Business models to monetize publishing in the digital era

Business models to monetize publishing in the digital era

The third in a series looking at the major themes of this year's TOC conference.

Several overriding themes permeated this year's Tools of Change for Publishing conference. The third in a series looking at five major themes, here we look at monetization in publishing, including subscription/access models, freemium, and ad-based models.

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Leaky paywalls and ads: What publishers can learn from the New York Times

Leaky paywalls and ads: What publishers can learn from the New York Times

How advertising and freemium apply to books.

Recent analysis of the New York Times' online paywall has put emphasis on advertising and the freemium model. Book publishers may not realize it, but those same things can also apply to their content products.

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Publishing News: Apple's new in-app rules cause a minor dustup

Publishing News: Apple's new in-app rules cause a minor dustup

Apple enforces its new app rules, World Book Night goes global, and publishing needs to be more entrepreneurial.

B&N, Amazon and Google had to scurry as Apple began enforcing its new in-app rules, the U.S. jumped on board for World Book Night 2012, and Todd Sattersten showed publishers what they can learn from tech startups.

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Publishing News: How to improve ebook marginalia

Publishing News: How to improve ebook marginalia

Improving ebook note tools, ask for data and you'll get it, the ABA partners with On Demand Books

Pete Meyers suggests ways to improve ebook note-taking tools, publishers can actually get consumer data from Apple, and the American Booksellers Association wants its member stores to have Espresso Book Machines.

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The competition for app subscriptions

The competition for app subscriptions

Subscription competition could yield one good thing: lower price points.

Apple may have a lion's share of the tablet and app markets now, but new competition may create a more level playing field.

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Publishing News: Week in Review

Publishing News: Week in Review

The American Chemical Society gets recognized for its app, Bloomsbury changes focus on rights, and the tablet wars flare up

In this week's edition of Publishing News: The American Chemical Society's slick mobile app gets recognized, Bloomsbury ditched its territory structure, and HP took aim at Apple with its TouchPad tablet and publisher-friendly subscription policies.

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Let the tablet wars begin

Let the tablet wars begin

As Apple ruffles feathers, HP's TouchPad -- and some of its subscription terms -- are unveiled

HP is squaring up against Apple with its new TouchPad tablet and new subscription terms with Time Inc.

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