Tag Archives: ebooks

Disruption: Technology or Business Model? Definitively, not Laws

Kindle books have now overtaken paperback books as the most popular format on Amazon.com, according to the quarterly results just released.

  • For every 100 paperback sold, Amazon sold 115 Kindle books
  • For every 100 hardcover sold, Amazon sold 300 Kindle books
  • The Kindle store has over 810,000 ebooks
  • 670,000 ebooks are priced at $9.99 or less

In just 3 years, Amazon has taken the eBook from nothing to mainstream. Amazon has managed to take the book transition to digital without suffering the pain the music labels went through with mp3. How did they do it? First, with a great device, the iPod of the ebooks. Second, no fear to cannibalize their own business. Third, force publishers to accept the $9.99 price policy. Same recipe as the iTunes “take it or leave it” $0.99 a song.

Amazon and Apple set the example of companies taking advantage of technology to drive new business models that are changing industries. The Netflix $7.99 a month all-you-can-stream is another bold proposition for consumers, that is shaking the Pay-TV industry.

The right offer for digital content at the right price is not only changing industries in US. It is also driving piracy down. Meantime countries like France, UK and Spain struggle with nonsense laws that not only are useless against piracy, but that are also stopping the development of a legal digital content market.

Legislators in Europe should stop making laws to preserve the status quo. Else US companies will have total domination of digital media by the time old Europe reacts.



Japanese ebooks on mobile handsets

TechCrunch reported a few days ago the success of “mobile phone ebooks” in Japan. See article

I often fly to Tokyo for work. People there commute mainly on train. Japan has the best railway system in the world. Trains are so punctual you can actually use them to set your watch time.

It is considered impolite – and it is forbidden- to speak on the phone in trains, buses or restaurants. Yet, around 80% of the people in a wagon are using their clam shell phones, mainly for email. SMS is not common and it is replaced by email, which Japanese access more often on their handsets than on PC.

With so much time spent in commuting, the mobile phone becomes a Personal Entertainment device – email, imode, games, music, and BOOKS as reported by TC!!.
KDDI, second mobile operator, sells millions of songs every month directly to the phones of their customers, being the main competitor to iTunes in Japan.

You can also find people in the train watching TV on their phones, not only unicast, but broadcast too. Technicians installing TV at home, will use the TV in their handsets to check channel reception.

In summary, Japan is very special in their habits. Successful concepts in Japan, may not be exportable. e.g. imode did not quite succeed overseas.