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Old 08-04-2009, 12:53 PM   #1
michaelwolf
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New Entrants Expected to Try and Leapfrog Amazon in the e-Book Market

As Amazon releases a second-generation Kindle and the Kindle DX, the e-tailer is preparing for a fierce challenge to its market dominance. Barnes & Noble, Sony and others are refocusing on the e-book market after years of half-hearted interest, fueled by new technologies and growing consumer enthusiasm, according to a new report from GigaOM Pro.

“Amazon took a market that had largely been ignored by publishers, booksellers and device makers and reshaped it into one of the fastest-growing categories in digital media,” said Paul Sweeting, an analyst with GigaOM Pro. “They were able to do so by essentially offering an Apple-like experience for readers with a seamlessly integrated device and marketplace experience where purchasing an e-books was as simple as buying a song on iTunes.”

Where Amazon saw an hole in the market two years ago, others now also see opportunity. Book giant Barnes & Noble recently announced a partnership with e-book specialist Plastic Logic, while Sony and others look to release a new hardware device and online giant Google plans to make thousands of public domain and out-of-print titles available in e-book formats.

“While Amazon owned the first-generation e-book market, it’s still early days,” said Sweeting. “With new types of displays and new, cross-platform strategies by e-booksellers coming online, the business is poised to get much more dynamic and competitive over the next 18 months.”

The report, entitled "Evolution of the e-Book Market" is an in-depth 66 page report looking at how technology trends and disruptive moves by large players such as Amazon, Google and Apple will change the e-book market in coming years. The report looks at strategies by current players and anticipates moves by new entrants, as well as examines how the market for e-books will impact book publishers and booksellers in the future. The report can be found here at GigaOM Pro.

About GigaOM Pro

As part of the GigaOM Network, GigaOM Pro delivers actionable insights on emerging markets by curating the most relevant news, providing big-picture analysis and in-depth original research reports, and offering interactive engagement with technology insiders. Visit GigaOM Pro today at http://pro.gigaom.com

About Paul Sweeting

Paul Sweeting has been covering the intersecting worlds of media, entertainment, technology and public policy for more than 15 years. In 2007 he developed and launched Content Agenda, a web site owned by Reed Business Information, publisher of Daily Variety, Broadcasting & Cable, Video Business, Publishers Weekly and other media-related properties. He left RBI in 2009 and launched The Media Wonk blog, which examines the impact of digital technology on the way cultural products are created, communicated and perceived, both in commercial terms as as a cultural and political phenomenon
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:02 PM   #2
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There's really nothing all that new or ground breaking in the Kindle. The biggest thing that Amazon brought to the game was brand recognition. The average consumer has never heard of iRex, Plastic Logic, Bookeen... etc. They have obviously heard of Sony, but Sony never really put any advertising push behind the PRS line of products. Everyone has heard of Amazon though, and now most people think of the Kindle when you say "eBook reader". The device itself isn't really any different than the others.

If Sony or Barnes and Nobles want to make a serious run at it, then they need to capture that same consumer awareness of their product brand names that Amazon did with the kindle.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:07 PM   #3
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@shaggy - I agree Sony and Barnes & Noble need to capture consumer awareness if they want to challenge the Kindle. However, Barnes & Noble retains a significant advantage in owning the actual storefront. I imagine that you will see significant in-store promotion of the new reader from Plastic Logic next year, and as we try to bring along traditional book readers into the e-book market, you can't underestimate the experience of hands-on as a major selling point. I actually think that if Barnes & Noble is serious, they - in partnership with Plastic Logic and possibly with their own device - could be the main challenger to Amazon in a few years.

Anyway, that's my two cents. The report is written by Paul Sweeting, an expert on digital media and distribution, with lots of in-depth analysis on Amazon and the other players.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:15 PM   #4
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:35 PM   #5
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Hey Dr. Drib - thanks for notice - yep, just to be clear, this is a press release for a new report (and yes, we don't do reports for free). But its a good one (and much cheaper than traditional market research!)
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:47 PM   #6
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Hey Dr. Drib - thanks for notice - yep, just to be clear, this is a press release for a new report (and yes, we don't do reports for free). But its a good one (and much cheaper than traditional market research!)
I assume the "we" above means that you work for the site?
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:53 PM   #7
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Yes - I'm the VP of Research at GigaOM. GigaOM is a top-five tech blog. My site is GigaOM Pro, where we have a technology-research subscription service.

BTW - Paul did a blog post on e-Books here (no subscription required):

http://gigaom.com/2009/08/04/amazon%...ust-beginning/
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:01 PM   #8
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There's really nothing all that new or ground breaking in the Kindle. The biggest thing that Amazon brought to the game was brand recognition. The average consumer has never heard of iRex, Plastic Logic, Bookeen... etc. They have obviously heard of Sony, but Sony never really put any advertising push behind the PRS line of products. Everyone has heard of Amazon though, and now most people think of the Kindle when you say "eBook reader". The device itself isn't really any different than the others.

If Sony or Barnes and Nobles want to make a serious run at it, then they need to capture that same consumer awareness of their product brand names that Amazon did with the kindle.
Can we spell name recognition as OPRAH - after she touted the Kindle it took off. All Amazon needed was her endorsement.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:19 PM   #9
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I actually think Oprah and Amazon are intimately tied. Just as Oprah reinvigorated the book market in the 90s, I think Amazon is reinvigorating eBooks just as consumers are being pulled away from reading in general. Its funny you mention the two together, as I tend to think of them as both having fundamental roles with the general public's relationship with books (paper or digital).
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:21 PM   #10
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I actually think Oprah and Amazon are intimately tied. Just as Oprah reinvigorated the book market in the 90s, I think Amazon is reinvigorating eBooks just as consumers are being pulled away from reading in general. Its funny you mention the two together, as I tend to think of them as both having fundamental roles with the general public's relationship with books (paper or digital).
If Oprah and Amazon are closely tied, then why is she giving away PDF on her site?
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