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Future of Books (and eBooks) May Be Via Subscriptions

Future of Books (and eBooks) May Be Via Subscriptions | Online Business Models |
The launch of eBook subscription service Oyster has set the proverbial cat among the pigeons in the publishing world.  Publishers and authors are frantically trying to work out just what on-demand ...
Robin Good's insight:

From the original article by Mark Mulligan: "Subscriptions are clearly the best product set media companies currently have for monetizing the consumption era.

For the music industry they continue to raise as many questions as they answer, but for books they might just be the ticket to genuine digital prosperity."

Here's a few reasons why:

Book Subscriptions Offer a Much Clearer Path to Additive Revenue than Music - because books take longer to read than a CD does to listen, authors and publishers should see greater revenue margins.

Per-reader value versus per-title value - If an author or publisher is simply think in terms of 1 sale becoming 1 rental then it is a net-loss scenario. But if just over twice as many people read the book then it is a net-gain scenario. The more people that subscribe and the more that read more books – the Consumption Quotient -the more likely that subscriptions will become additive rather than substitutive.

The author also suggests that the book industry has a key advantage in that it can learn a lot from the mistakes already done by the music subscription industry and can avoid repeating them by paying attention to a few key elements such as:

  • Transparency
  • Curation
  • Discovery
  • Pricing
  • Video and multimedia native support

Insightful. 8/10

Full article: 

(Image credit: Subscribe road sign by Shutterstock)

Robin Good's comment, September 22, 2013 3:39 AM
Rodrick: print books are here to stay for quite some time still, as there will be, like in your case, always some demand for this unique medium. Print publishers will have to reorganize and rethink their business strategy to remain profitable.
Ghouti Kerzabi's curator insight, September 24, 2013 6:19 PM

Le lancement du Livre abonnement Oyster de service a mis le chat proverbial parmi les pigeons dans le monde de l'édition. Editeurs et auteurs sont frénétiquement essayer de travailler sur tout ce que la demande ...

chen kc's curator insight, October 10, 2013 12:40 AM like this video content...i like this....great visualise...subscription...?

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It May Not Be Content To Produce Revenues In The Future But Curated Suggestions and Recommendations

It May Not Be Content To Produce Revenues In The Future But Curated Suggestions and Recommendations | Online Business Models |

Robin Good: Back in March of 2011 Kevin Kelly wrote an interesting article entitled "The Satisfaction Paradox".

Within it, he points clearly at an emerging trend: content price becoming lower and lower, and increased ease-of-access to tons of good content, whether this may be books, music or films. 

In such a new world of abundance, where valuable content is all around me, cheap and easily accessible, what is then the next value-creation frontier, he asks.

And this is the insightful view he offers: "...Netflix has more great movies a click away -- after I filter out the dross -- than I can watch in my lifetime.

What do I watch next?

Spotify and other music streaming services will have more fantastic, I-am-in-heaven music available everywhere all the time than I can ever listen to.

What do I listen to next?

Google will have every book ever published only an eight of a second away, and collaborative filtering, friends recommendations and a better Amazon engine, will narrow down those stacks to the best 10,000 books for me.

So what do I read next?

I believe that answering this question is what outfits like Amazon will be selling in the future.

For the price of a subscription you will subscribe to Amazon and have access to all the books in the world at a set price...(An individual book you want to read will be as if it was free, because it won't cost you extra.) The same will be true of movies (Netflix), or music (iTunes or Spotify or Rhapsody.) You won't be purchasing individual works.

Instead you will pay Amazon, or Netflix, or Spotify, or Google for their suggestions of what you should pay attention to next.

Amazon won't be selling books (which are marginally free); they will be selling their recommendations of what to read.

You'll pay the subscription fee in order to get access to their recommendations to the "free" works, which are also available elsewhere.

Their recommendations (assuming continual improvements by more collaboration and sharing of highlights, etc.) will be worth more than the individual books.

You won't buy movies; you'll buy cheap access and pay for personalized recommendations..."

I ask you: How close are these "recommendations" and "suggestions" to the work that many curators do?

Is curation then in the business of "what to pay attention to next"?

Must-read. 10/10

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