Posts tagged ‘google’

Newspapers need to effectively monetize social media if they want to sustain their business

U.S. Internet users spent more time on Facebook than Yahoo and Google combined this past year (Nielsen, 2011). Following users, companies are also on track to spend 13.7 percent of their marketing budget on social media advertising (Borrell Inc. , 2012). Traditionally, small businesses advertised in local papers to drum up sales for their businesses. In the current scenario, Facebook and Twitter accounts threaten to usurp the place that newspapers had in selling the business to its readers.

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New ValueNotes report: The current state of digital content

  • Four in five publishers globally are already producing digital content
  • PDF continues to be the most popular digital format, with a majority of publishers indicating that ‘universal’ accessibility was a driving factor for choosing formats
  • Third-party bookstores/channels such as those offered by Amazon, Apple, Google and Sony  are preferred, but there is a growing need to develop online bookstores

These are some of the salient findings from our research on the state of digitization in the publishing world. The publishing industry underwent some drastic changes in the last couple of years – because of the global economic crisis and also, because of the rise of the digital market. This phase is also quite exciting. The report, sponsored by Qbend, has provided us with comprehensive insights on various aspects on how publishers are addressing the digital market. Based on over 200 responses from professionals working in the publishing industry, this report talks about the production, distribution, digital rights management and pricing of digital content.

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Survey: The Current State of Digital Content

On Monday, the 19th of November 2007, Amazon released its first generation Kindle – an event that shaped the digital market. Since then, large corporations such as Sony, Barnes and Noble, Google, and more recently Apple, have been giving the digital content market significant attention – adding credibility and more so, validating the digital market as a strong revenue source. It is this potential that is transforming the publishing industry today.

In the last few years, the publishing industry witnessed tremendous change – a change that centred around revenue and cost challenges. For publishers, the digital market presented a holistic solution – one that opened a channel of revenue with non-linear growth, while ensuring minimal costs of production & sales. Publishers worldwide are either producing digital content or are considering it as a service area.

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Google this: Number of books in the world

Google has the answer to a lot of questions we ask. And looks like it has the answer to this one too.

The company has been trying to digitize books through its Google Books initiative for a few years now, so it is surprising that they didn’t answer this question at the outset.

How did they do it?

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Amazon translating into more business

From releasing a new Kindle application for Android devices to allowing customers to exchange textbooks for a gift card or announcing Facebook and Twitter support in Kindles – the past few days have been quite eventful for Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). While these new developments reflect the inherent dynamism in the book distribution market, the possible launch of Google Editions or DangDang.com planning an IPO are indicative of the competition that the market is witnessing.

But of all the news items, what I found most interesting has been the announcement of AmazonCrossing. AmazonCrossing will use customer feedback and data from other Amazon sites to identify non-English best sellers. Once identified, Amazon will acquire and translate the book for consumption by the global English-speaking audience. The move leverages Amazon’s existing distribution networks that contain multiple channels, formats, stores and partnerships with independent book sellers.

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Reading into the device market…

The e-book market is still hazy at best, and the influx of e-book readers is not helping publishers and readers.  To get a better sense of how many e-book readers are out there, I did a Google News search. There are close to 1500 articles from the start of this year – an indicator of the flurry of activity that the device space has seen. (In all fairness, a significant proportion of them might be from Apple and the iPad). I am  amazed at how many e-book readers are already out there or are due for launch. Many gadget companies have already started looking at this space and are accordingly launching their products. I have listed a few of the e-book readers that I have come across. (Do let me know if I missed any)

Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, Barnes and N0ble Nook, Apple iPad, Plastic Logic, InfiMedia Pi, Asus, Lenovo, Acer, Samsung, Neonode, BeBook, Spring Design Alex, Aluratek Libre, Yinlips, Teclast K3, Oppo Enjoy, Hanlin, Cube, iRiver, Interead Cool-er, Elonex, Bookeen Cybook Opus, Onyx BOOX, QuokkaPad, Hanvon, IREX, Copia

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Newspapers: Stop the presses?

The newspaper and magazine segments are the largest contributors in revenues to the global publishing industry – contributing close to 52% of global publishing revenues. It would therefore be safe to assume that of all the challenges faced by the industry, none would be as altering (in terms of revenues) as the challenges faced by these two segments. The newspaper and magazine segments have already lost considerable revenues on account of dip in ad revenues. This is directly attributable to the global economic slowdown, which has led to decrease in consumer and corporate spending.

Does a drop in revenues merit a need to re-invent the business model? How are publishers coping with the dip in revenues? Will the digital market provide a strong revenue source? Will this mean more outsourcing/offshoring?  Over two posts, I will answer these questions, starting with the newspaper segment.

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Can ebooks sustain publishers?

In one of my previous posts, I had written about the rise of Google in the ebook market and its implications. But are ebooks as important an offering as the publishing industry is making out to be? Will ebooks be a one fit solution for publishers? Can a publisher ultimately sustain on revenues from ebooks?

So will ebooks address the  challenges faced by the industry today?
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Don’t be e-vil

A lot has been said and written about ebooks, ebook readers and the stimulus that the publishing industry has been giving to anything and everything digital. The arrival of a technology behemoth such as Google just goes to validate that the market is in fact, worth it.

What about Google?

For starters, Google stunned the publishing industry, with the launch of Google Editions at the recently concluded Frankfurt Book Fair. The company is launching an online service for booksellers and will let readers buy books and read them on a range of devices – from computers to cell phones. Continue reading ‘Don’t be e-vil’ »