There has been quite a brouhaha over the impact of tablets and e-book readers in our lives over the past couple of years. With the iPad series being the clear front-runners, the other game-changers are Amazon’s Kindle series and the Nook by Barnes & Noble. All the potential talk over how these will have a massive influence on media, marketing and publishing is explained by the fact that Amazon and Barnes & Noble have each decided to put another 4-5 million tablets each into the market in 2012.
This holiday season, consumers are looking at buying and gifting another transformational format for the media and entertainment industry – the e-book. With the foundation being built slowly over the past two years, the e-book industry is now unleashing its full marketing potential to convince tablet owners to make the “digital switch” from traditional hard covers and paperbacks to its electronic form. Amazon and B&N have already established their proprietary e-book formats and dozens of other publishers are getting on-board to digitize their output.
This has spelled a boon for publishing outsourcing companies who are experiencing a record boom in demand for services such as digital publishing, document conversion, electronic publishing and online content services. The major market for these services includes, not only fiction and non-fiction work, but extends to the highly lucrative academic and text book markets.
My alma mater, the Michigan State University, too has joined the digital bandwagon, with their Environmental Stewardship Initiative gathering interest and building demand for students to make the switch to digital courseware. Digital formats will be a huge breakthrough for reducing paper waste and as a student, I would prefer loading all my e-texts onto a compact tablet rather than lugging around a bunch of heavy text books. Pricing, however, remains a challenge with administrators and students alike, and will most likely be the deciding factor to make the change to digital a success.
As a lighter, festive note, I would like to wish “Happy Holidays” to each and every one of you, while I go ahead and browse through and gift a few e-books to my friends and family.
– Guest post by Ashmita Gupta, Research Analyst, ValueNotes
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