Addressing the state of econtent

Javier Celaya on the future of ereading and epublishing.

This post is part of the TOC podcast series, which we’ll be featuring here on Radar in the coming months. You can also subscribe to the free TOC podcast through iTunes.

Like so many other European countries, Spain still hasn’t seen the significant rise in ebook sales like we’ve experienced in the U.S. But due to the fact that the country has such a high percentage of mobile device owners and the bias toward print seems to be changing, it may not be long before ebooks represent a significant portion of overall sales. Dosdoce Digital Culture’s CEO Javier Celaya (@javiercelaya) recently met with me to discuss the state of econtent and what’s likely to impact the future. Some of Celaya’s more noteworthy points from the full video interview (below) include:

  • Ebooks currently represent about 3% of total sales: This is rapidly changing, though, and some publishers are claiming as much as 5% of their sales come from ebooks. Javier sees this climbing all the way to 10% in 2012. [Discussed at the 2:35 mark]
  • Tablets versus dedicated ereading devices: The percentage of heavy readers in Spain is rather low compared to other countries. As a result, single-purpose devices, particularly ones dedicated to reading, aren’t likely to be successful. Multi-function tablets are already popular in Spain and likely to be the preferred ereading platform. [Discussed at 7:30]
  • Amazon will have a major advantage, despite the fixed-price restrictions: It all comes down to service, where Amazon has plenty of experience to leverage. [Discussed at 14:00]
  • iPad will remain strong but iBookstore, not so much: Although Apple’s devices will be popular for content consumption, most of that content will likely be bought from other retailers, not the iBookstore. [Discussed at 16:45]
  • Support for DRM is shifting: Even some larger publishers are starting to offer portions of their lists without DRM, mostly at the request of their authors. [Discussed at 20:30]
  • The advantages of direct sales go well beyond the obvious income boost: It’s also about the customer knowledge you’ll gather, and more importantly, what you do with that knowledge. [Discussed at 22:20]

You can view the entire interview in the following video.


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