Why Netflix for eBooks won’t work. Today.


It seems that not a week goes by recently when we hear about a company that is “Netflix for eBooks” or “Spotify for publishing”. While I think that the industry desperately needs innovation and fresh thinking, I have my doubts about this type of model ported from other media areas. It may very well be where the industry ends up in time, but I think for the next 2-3 years these start-ups will find it tough.

So here are some questions that we should maybe consider when discussing Spotflix for books; Read more »

Music Industry Comparison: Part #8967 (sorry)


Yes, I know, I know, but let’s not worry about all the “is/isn’t the record industry a good comparison for books” stuff. None of it matters if a comparison is interesting, and whichever side of that interminable, pointless debate you fall it certainly is interesting. Read more »

Spotify Redefines Music - Again

"We want music to be like water -- available everywhere, available seamlessly," Spotify CEO and founder Daniel Ek. Read more »

A Thousand Flowers Bloom

In fits and starts, Spanish publishing is poised to join the digital (r)evolution. Rather than the imminent landing of the major international players, a proof of this has been the XIX Liber (October 5-7), the trade show that is a reference to both the Spanish and Latin-American markets. Sponsored by the Federación de Gremios de Editores de España, Liber is a good indicator of the temperature of the industry. Read more »

‘In the future everything will be free’

The digitization of all media means that more and more organizations are coping with difficult times. Including the book world. The book world is just experiencing the transformation from analogue to digital, where the music and the film industry have for years. From record stores to video rental services, from big record labels to film studios, they have all had to change their businesses in some form to stay alive, if they were able to. And now it is our turn. Read more »

All the e-books you can eat?

As I write this, I am listening to the newest album from The Gorillaz, which was released a mere couple of weeks ago – and I didn't pay a penny for it. Well, technically I paid something for it, because I'm listening to it on Spotify, the advertising- and subscription-funded music service launched by clever Swedish geeks in 2008. Under their model, I pay £4.99 per month, in return for which I could in theory listen to 744 hours of non-stop music a month, untroubled by pesky adverts. Read more »

Tell me a tale of books and pirates and clouds! The story of 24symbols

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there was a realm in which one economic sector had been using the same business model for many years. The author created a work, the publisher selected a work among different authors, assured its work quality, prepared and advertised it; and the distributor made sure the work reached its potential readers. Sometimes success or failure depended just on choosing the right title to catch the attention of a large enough target of readers. Read more »

Spotify for Books

It is a little over a year ago when music blog Music Alley announced that the music streaming service Spotify was going to diversify beyond music and into books by adding a catalogue of more than 50,000 ebooks. Users would be able to read books on screen and listen to them via text-to-speech for free (with ads) or on a subscription base. It appeared to be an April Fools’ joke. Read more »

Sometimes it’s good to have your head in the clouds

What is cloud hosting? Cloud hosting means storing content in a central location where multiple people can access it. When explained like this, it doesn’t quite live up to the rather exotic name (I’m envisaging tea parties with Mary Poppins, supping ambrosia with the Gods of Olympus and other exciting things you might do in a cloud) but it does present some very exciting prospects for the book publishing industry. Read more »

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