Posts Tagged ‘Publishers’
It’s well off the triple year-over-year development that e-books saw a few years ago, but the newest report from the Association of American Publishers shows that e-books did inch up even further in 2012 to account for a significant piece of total book sales. According to its figures, e-books now stand for 22.55 percent of United States publishers’ overall revenue– up from simply under 17 percent in 2011– a boost that helped push net income from all book sales up 6.2 percent to $ 7.1 billion for the year. As the AAP notes, this report also happens to mark the tenth anniversary of its yearly tracking of e-book sales; back at the beginning in 2002, their share of publishers’ net revenue clocked in at a simple 0.05 percent. The team does caution that the year-to-year comparison back that far is rather anecdotal, nonetheless, provided changing methodologies and meanings of e-books.
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The US Division of Justice may have just reached settlements with three of the five significant publishers it had actually demanded presumably correcting e-book costs, but it’s improving its track record through a brand-new offer with Penguin. Like its peers, the company has accepted end any pacts that avoid it from decreasing e-book prices, whether the plans are with Apple or other shop operator. While Penguin hasn’t right away commented on its change of heart, a company spokesperson made clear to The Guardian that an EU settlement was for “clearing the decks” ahead of a joint venture with Random House– Penguin didn’t want government analysis towering above its union. The truce leaves Macmillan as the last publication giant still slated to go to court in the US, and it could not get much support when Apple belonged to the European arrangement.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) and Google today announced a contract that marks the end of almost seven years of litigation, kicked off in 2005, when 5 members of the organization filed a violation suit against the online giant. The bargain helps bring digitized books and logs to the Google Library Project, providing publishers control over exactly what content will certainly make it into Google’s collection. Publishers who choose to keep their book in the online collection will get access of the digital copy for their own functions. As a jointly provided press release notes, the bargain, which consists of McGraw-Hill, Penguin, Wiley, Pearson Education and Simon & Schuster, does not effect existing Authors Guild litigation.
As more US states join the class action suit against Apple and major publishers over ebook pricing, new details have emerged in an amended complaint, including a previously redacted email showing that Steve Jobs stepped in directly to help along negotiations. In the amended complaint, the states say that Apple mediator Eddy Cue could not secure commitment for the proposed agency model from one of the publishers, so Apple went over its head: Steve Jobs sent an email to an executive at the publisher’s parent company, offering them three “alternatives” to ebook sales. Jobs wrote that they could “keep going with Amazon at $ 9.99,” but that publishers would eventually be earning “70 percent of $ 9.99″ because “they have shareholders too.” Or,…
The U.S. Justice Department just formally charged Apple, along with book publishers, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Penguin in regards to e-book pricing. The DoJ alleges that the companies colluded in anticompetitive practices involving pricing and sales. This comes after a year-long investigation into the matter after Apple switched to an “agency” model where they retained a portion of the sale of e-books sold through its platforms. This is said to have resulted in higher prices industry-wide, since the power to set prices rested in the hands of only a few sellers.
Bloomberg reports that several publishers are seeking to settle with the DoJ. Simon & Schuster, Lagardère SCA’s Hachette Book Group and HarperCollins could settle as soon as today. (Update: They just settled) However, Apple and Macmillan reportedly refused to engage in settlement talks, so far denying the claims. This might get ugly.
With e-book sales rising rapidly, the DoJ is seeking to ensure the consumer isn’t seeing unnecessary price increases caused by this so-called agency model employed by Apple. This model lets the publisher–rather than the vendor–set prices, which is why the big five publishers jumped onboard. Apple just asks for 30% of the end sale.
“Traditional” booksellers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble have stuck to the wholesale pricing model, in which they purchase the rights to a book and set their own price. This often stiffs the publishers as the retailers turn bestsellers into loss leaders, causing them to be undervalued in the publisher’s view. But with Apple, the big five can price books how they see fit. Both sides can be effectively argued as pro-consumer.
Even if the DoJ rules against Apple, its agency business model might stay intact. Apple and the publishers would likely simply have to comply with stringent regulations.
Update: Minutes after the initial report hit, Bloomberg is reporting that Simon & Schuster, Lagardère SCA’s Hachette Book Group and HarperCollins just settled with the DoJ over unspecified terms.
Contently, a platform that connects brands with quality content and gives freelance writers the shot at a regular paycheck, announced today that it has closed a $ 335K debt round from Founder Collective. This comes on the heels of the news that TechStars had chosen Contently to be one of the 12 startups to take part in its New York City summer program, which began last week.
The startup is keying into the idea that content farms have become the bane of content production, spamming search engines with low-quality, SEO-optimized content that takes up space rather than inform. Contently hopes to fight this trend by building a business around real engaging, sharable content, rather than an anonymous, outsourced engine intended to game search algorithms.
As marketing dollars shit towards social media and content marketing (according to Custom Content Council, 68 percent of CMOs are shifting marketing budgets to focus on content marketing), and simultaneously, as digital content production ushers in a new era where many bloggers and journalists are now managing freelance careers, Contently’s value is twofold. On the one hand, Contently wants to help web marketers build content strategies optimized for readers online, based on content produced by real, accredited journalists.
Contently believes that marketers want to be producing magazine-quality content that does their brands justice, and for that reason, SEO manipulation isn’t a sustainable model for businesses — or those that take advantage of its rapid-fire content production.
On the other hand, Contently wants to become a source of steady work for freelance content producers. But, to assure brands that they will be getting quality content, the startup is currently only working with journalists and bloggers who have credentials that include “major publications and well known blogs”. Of course, “major” and “well known” are in the eye of the beholder, but Contently Co-founder Shane Snow says that writers from Boston Globe, Gawker, LA Times, New York Times, and Wired are already on board.
For its writers, the New York City-based startup is setting the minimum publishers pay for the work they produce to ensure that they won’t be given $ 10 gigs, a la Demand Media. Snow says that writers who blog full-time for Contently can make make more than $ 50K a year, a bold statement, considering that 66 percent of journalists make less than that.
Contently then aims to become a hub, where journalists can manage their careers, without having to worry about vetting clients or whoring themselves out for little money just to pay the rent. Plus, no more late checks. (And they can get bylines like this one.)
For businesses, hiring journalists, bloggers, or copy writers in-house is an expensive endeavor, which is why so many have turned to outsourcing production to freelancers. Of course, finding high quality freelancers on Craigslist, Odesk, or Elance can be more time-consuming than hiring in-house. This is where Contently’s value proposition comes into play, offering businesses easy access to quality content and journalists a steady source of revenue. For publishers, these writers become their stringers, Snow says, in a way that’s more like telecommuting than Mechanical Turk-style outsourcing — they want to get rid of the anonymity.
“Contently is something that literally every one of our portfolio companies could use”, Founder Collective Managing Partner Eric Paley told us. “Contently makes content marketing turnkey for it’s growing base of clients”.
Contently launched its closed beta in December 2010, and has since seen companies like Mint, Grasshopper, and Wix use the startup to hire freelance writers and plan their digital content strategies.
For more, check out the startup at home and sign up for here.
Apple has been busy this week revising its App Store guidelines, first with the revision of its DUI checkpoint app policy, and now switching up the guidelines for in-app purchases. Section 11.13 of Apple’s App Store guidelines has been angering quite a few publishers as of late, forcing them to offer subscriptions through in-app purchases. In other words, Apple gets a 30 percent cut for each edition sold of any given magazine, newspaper, or book. The section also included audio, music, and video publishers.
The dreaded Section 11.13 has now been revised to allow publishers to sell their content outside the App Store. But there’s one stipulation: publishers can’t include a link or button in their apps that send the user to a website where they can conduct a transaction.
11.13 Apps can read or play approved content (magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, video) that is sold outside of the app, for which Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues, provided that the same content is also offered in the app using IAP at the same price or less than it is offered outside the app. This applies to both purchased content and subscriptions.
11.14 Apps can read or play approved content (specifically magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video) that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app, as long as there is no button or external link in the app to purchase the approved content. Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues for approved content that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app.
Amazon has had a fairly big download-only indie video game store for a little while, but as of today has added several big name publishers to the service. â€œBig names?â€ Yes, the likes of EA, Sega, Ubisoft, and Atari. And, since today is the big launch day for the new publishers, Amazon’s running a little sale to help you start your collection.
Amazon splits the games between core gamers and casual games. I don’t think I need to explain the difference between the two to you guys.
The new core games include Medal of Honor, Dragon Age, Need For Speed Shift, Assassin’s Creed 2, and The Sims 3.
Particular deals include Need For Speed Underground for $ 6.60 (down from $ 9.99), Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 for $ 15.00 (down from $ 29.99), Dead Space for $ 11.53 (down from $ 19.99), and, probably the best deal of them all, The Witcher for $ 6.00 (down from $ 19.99).
You’ll recall that The Witcher 2′s release date was announced yesterday: May 17, 2011. That’s The Witcher up there, obv.
Bottom line, amigos, is that you have another download store to choose from, and there’s nothing wrong with additional choices.