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24Symbols: Library Competitor?

I am really intrigued by 24Symbols.com.

” ‘24symbols’, a Spanish startup is planning to launch a subscription service with the aim to become the “Spotify for e-books.” They will offer an ad-supported and a subscription-based access around 10€ per month for ebooks and the books will be streamed and cloud based. The challenges they face are the same as Spotify and others before them – grappling with a rights and royalty infrastructure not built for pricing not on demand licensing let alone ad supported revenues. They also have to accept that Amazon is about to set up in Spain.”

Streaming or Buying Books: Will Readers Choose a Subscription Model for E-Books?
By Audrey Watters

24symbols promises Netflix-like subscription library access

It will be interesting to watch this model. We’ve seen what streaming media did to the hard copy music business and physical stores for music acquisition via iTunes, Napster, Limewire, etc. over history. We’ve seen what is hapenng to video stores and DVDs with streming media and Netflix, iTunes, etc. And Pandora is poised to be radio-like.

So, looking at these models and seeing a subscription based model for e-books my little strategic thinker brain worries just a little. I can see Google Books havin an opportunity in this space and a publisher coalition, B&N or Amazon could accomplish the same.

What is your competitive advantage? I say it’s the people in libraries – staff and community – learning and playing together. What can be done to promote that positioning?

At $5/gallon for gas it’s cheaper to download an e-book on subscription than to drive to the library – unless the services and positioning there offer a better experience.

I think that we will see quite a few booksellers looking to partner with libraries to access our large community footprint of readers.

Stephen

Posted on: April 20, 2011, 12:32 pm Category: Uncategorized

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