Sony e-book head defends DRM—and costlier e-books than Amazon’s $9.95 bestsellers
December 17, 2009 | 3:15 am
Hardware companies love to say that publishers demand DRM. But Steve Haber, present of the Digital Reading Business division at Sony, goes beyond that and says he doesn’t see DRM vanishing soon for this reason:
“You need an orderly process to sell books and DRM makes that possible, mainly because it allows content creators and distributors to make money from that content.” As if that’s the only way? Of course, with social DRM or no DRM, you wouldn’t be locking customers so neatly into the ecosystem of encrypted ePub which Sony currently dominates. Significantly, Sony runs an e-book store.
Addressing another issue at the eBook Summit before making his DRM remarks, Haber said $9.95, Amazon’s standard price for bestsellers, wasn’t high enough for many books. “The $9.99 price point is not a money-maker. Certain bestsellers are sold at that price for retail, competitive reasons. But you need to have a range. You could go from $10 to $20 even to $100 for an e-book. There’s no sweet spot and it’s certainly not $9.99. When you walk into a bookstore and there are a range of prices. It should be the same for an e-book store.”
He also said he expects early customers to get their Sony Reader Daily Editions before Christmas Day.