"E pluribus tunum: Uniform prices for online music are no way to maximise profit"

This research suggest maximum value in a digital media market like iTunes (for both producer and consumer) comes from a combination of subscription/membership fee and per-item purchase: "Charging an "entry fee" for use of the service and then a small, fixed per-song cost for downloads turned out to benefit both the seller and the buyer. The most revenue, according to…

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Inside Look at RAND's $9.95 Ebook Pricing Strategy

Recently, the RAND Corporation announced that it has revised the suggested retail pricing on all RAND ebooks to $9.95 each. RAND ebooks are available through a wide variety of wholesale and retail partners. The press release provided some explanation for the decision, also discussed in Publishers Weekly. I have been asked by Tools of Change to provide some additional…

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Ebook Piracy is Up Because Ebook Demand is Up

My email, twitter, and "real-world" information stream is abuzz today with references to a New York Times story about the increase in piracy of ebooks: “It’s exponentially up,” said David Young, chief executive of Hachette Book Group, whose Little, Brown division publishes the “Twilight” series by Stephenie Meyer, a favorite among digital pirates. “Our legal department is spending an ever-increasing…

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Readers Boycotting Kindle Titles Priced Above $9.99

Pricing is a red-hot topic among publishers when it comes to ebooks. As I said in a Q&A for Forbes.com last week, cost-driven pricing (especially when the costs in question are calculated based on printed output) is a poor approach for ebook publishers. Readers simply don't care how much it costs a publisher to produce an ebook — they only care how much it's worth to them. (This is especially true for the iPhone, where books must compete alongside games, music, movies, and other "apps" primarily priced well below $10.)

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One-Question Interview at BookNet Canada Tech Forum

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the 2009 BookNet Canada Technology Forum in Toronto (motto: Even colder than you expected!), and Mark Bertils caught up with me on my way out for a quick video interview: Two follow ups on what I said, now that I have my del.icio.us feed handy: The Peter Drucker reference is from…

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Expectation of Fair Pricing, Not Free

At Dear Author, a post stating that not all content should be expected to be free; rather it must be provided, free or not, in a realistic understanding of consumer needs and expectations, which might mean changing the way you do business. What content providers must realize is that a changing business model wherein revenues are no longer captured in…

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Report: Random House Shifts Ebook Royalties to Net Receipts

Richard Curtis says Random House has announced a shift in its ebook royalties in a letter recently sent to literary agents. From E-Reads: Commencing December 1, 2008, the new royalty rate for sales of ebooks will be 25% of the amount received for all sales, Random's letter goes on to state. What does Random House actually receive? Most e-book retailers…

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Pricing Digital Book Content: Where's the Sweet Spot?

A lot of people are trying to figure out where prices are headed for digital book content, and to date there's not much consensus. What do you think?

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Amazon "Buy New" Option Removed from Publisher's Titles

The "buy new" option has been removed from a variety of Hachette Group's Amazon UK listings, reports The BookSeller: Amazon conducts yearly negotiations with publishers over the discounts it receives. The Hachette tussle comes in the wake of a similar dispute in January, when a number of Bloomsbury titles were temporarily removed from sale through Amazon's main channel. The…

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Publishers and Amazon Locked in Price War

The UK's Times Online says Penguin, Bloomsbury and other publishers are trying to woo customers with steep discounts on their own Web sites. Amazon isn't happy about the cuts: There are fears that Amazon may retaliate by regarding a publisher’s online price as the recommended retail price and applying its trading terms to that. If a publisher discounts a…

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