News Roundup: Book Chain Installing Espresso POD Machines, Ebooks: False Sense of Security for Publishers?, Newspaper Revenue Slide Continues

UK Book Chain Installing Espresso POD Machines

UK book retailer Blackwell will test the Espresso Book Machine at one of its locations this fall with an eye toward installing the print-on-demand device at additional stores. From a Blackwell press release:

Blackwell CEO Vince Gunn — “From a retailer’s point of view, even allowing for the first-generation technology and publisher challenges, this is a fantastic opportunity — sell to demand with no risk to inventory and an opportunity to create incremental revenue streams for ourselves and publishers.”

Ebooks: False Sense of Security for Publishers?

Michael Cairns says ebooks as we largely understand them may be a short-term fading generational segment. From PersonaNonData:

Today’s publishers for the first time in their history have no confidence that their child’s generation will be (or are) interested in their published output. It is not that publishers aren’t making an effort; however, I have a disturbing belief that there is an preponderance of focus on forcing existing content into a format and delivery mechanism (e-books and e-readers) that is not ideal only to have that e-book content used by a market — my and my parents’ generation — that is in long term decline.

In other words, migrating content so that it is available on an e-book may provide a false sense of security for publishers who believe this is enough to ‘re-launch’ their content to the newest generations.

Downward Slide Continues for Newspaper Revenue

The news, for newspapers, is monotonically downwards. From the New York Times:

On top of long-term changes in the industry, the weak economy is also hurting ad sales, especially in Florida and California, where the severe contraction of the housing markets has cut deeply into real estate ads. Executives at the Hearst Corporation say that one of their biggest papers, The San Francisco Chronicle, is losing $1 million a week.

Over all, ad revenue fell almost 8 percent last year. This year, it is running about 12 percent below that dismal performance, and company reports issued last week suggested a 14 percent to 15
percent decline in May.

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