In his Daring Fireball blog, John Gruber quotes from a very interesting Nicholas Carr post and then, in Gruber’s last paragraph makes a most telling point about Disney:
Nicholas Carr argues that book publishers should include e-book versions with print books:
So why give away the bits? Well, traditional book publishers have three big imperatives today: (1) protect print sales for as long as possible (in order to fund a longer-term transition to a workable new business model); (2) help keep physical bookstores in business (for the reasons set out in this article by Julie Bosman); and (3) do anything possible to curb the power of Amazon.com, the publishers’ arch-frenemy. Bundling bits with atoms helps on all three fronts.
Disney, for one, does this with their Blu-ray movies. You buy the Blu-ray and you get three editions of the same movie: a Blu-ray disc, a DVD disc, and a digital download. You pay once and you can effectively play the movie anywhere.
The argument from the major publishers re e-book prices has always been that they need to be high lest they become “de-valued” by discount pricing. How would the A6 justify free as a price point?
And I am so tired of reading about the evil of Amazon. Amazon sure isn’t perfect, but the constant bashing they seem to attract is way over the top. It seems that Amazon has replaced Microsoft as the company-to-hate.
“But when I buy music today I buy it on vinyl”. An early pointer about the relevance of this article.
“traditional book publishers have three big imperatives today: (1) protect print sales for as long as possible”. Another telling quote that reflects the author’s insight.
“There’s a lesson here, I think, for book publishers.” Yes I think there is. The future is digital. And in the near future there will be about the same number of paper readers as there are vinyl heads now.
Uh, sorry, but I just don’t *want* the printed version.
Bundling the eBook free if you buy the printed book is a lame excuse for keeping the eBook price close to the printed version if you want to buy the eBook alone.