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Old 09-09-2014, 10:02 PM   #1
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Charting Nook's Decline

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2014...nooks-decline/

Nook's revenues have been decreasing, but lately they have also decreased their losses.
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:17 AM   #2
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Interesting. If the partnership of B&N and Samsung continues, maybe we will see some kind of eink Samsung tab. A special version for Nook of the Tab4 with eink would want to make me give money to B&N. Well, only if I don't have to give up my Amazon eco system that is.
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:45 AM   #3
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By the looks of it should be profitable in the next 2 quaters
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:57 AM   #4
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By the looks of it should be profitable in the next 2 quaters
...if you believe the projections...

Nook's history, though, is that even at their peak they never made a profit in the charted period. And I'm a bit uneasy with their commitment to sell a million Galaxy Tabs. Especially since they only sold ~150k of the cheaper eink readers last quarter. I can easily see a repeat of xmas 2012.

(I wonder why DBW didn't go back to the actual launch and include pre-conspiracy data from their peak market share of 26% in 2010.)
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:56 PM   #5
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This just doesn't bode well. I believe they are both trying to get Nook under control AND sell it off at the same time (and bringing it under control could certainly make it more appealing to some company who wants to get in to the e-book game).

An alternative is that Nook just goes under and BN steps out of this portion of the market without successfully selling it off (or the sale goes fine, but the company who takes it over doesn't have the chops to make it successful). Without BN in the game, the e-book device/content market becomes even more like a ghost town than it already is.

Competition is getting complicated.
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:13 PM   #6
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Anthem, who is going to buy it and instantly has to fight Amazon and Apple at the same time? I don't think that B&N is willing to sell it off for a bargain.
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Old 09-10-2014, 03:34 PM   #7
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Anthem, who is going to buy it and instantly has to fight Amazon and Apple at the same time? I don't think that B&N is willing to sell it off for a bargain.
...and who is going to throw big money at a damaged brand hemorrhaging customers and market share?

While the ebook business has doubled in the last two years or so, Nook revenues have dropped 80%, their peak ebook market share of 26% is down to maybe 8%, and the promised revamp of their online storefront, due last spring, is MIA.

And, this last week word has filtered out of missed (supplier) payments to some of their indie authors. Very probably a glitch but a disquieting one. Some of the authors are responding by pulling their titles and going Amazon exclusive, at least temporarily.

So, again, who is going to buy into that track record?

B&N may not want to sell low, but who is going to pay what they think it's worth?
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:45 PM   #8
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...and who is going to throw big money at a damaged brand hemorrhaging customers and market share?

While the ebook business has doubled in the last two years or so, Nook revenues have dropped 80%, their peak ebook market share of 26% is down to maybe 8%, and the promised revamp of their online storefront, due last spring, is MIA.

And, this last week word has filtered out of missed (supplier) payments to some of their indie authors. Very probably a glitch but a disquieting one. Some of the authors are responding by pulling their titles and going Amazon exclusive, at least temporarily.

So, again, who is going to buy into that track record?

B&N may not want to sell low, but who is going to pay what they think it's worth?
Well yes that too. Can B&N survive without selling ebooks? Or are they headed the path of Borders and go extinct? Big stores may be nice, but they are not in easy reach unless you are in a big city. If I have to order paper books online, knowing I won't have a choice to get the ebook, why not let a local bookstore to order it. Or order the pbooks from Amazon if no local store is easily available. If B&N has to get rid of Nook, what signal does that send to the customer? Hard to put faith into them if they don't know how to sell ebooks and trust them they know pbooks well enough. In the end it doesn't matter if it was B&N fault or if they got pushed into non-existance by others - to the customer the result is the same.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:22 PM   #9
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Anthem, who is going to buy it and instantly has to fight Amazon and Apple at the same time? I don't think that B&N is willing to sell it off for a bargain.
It's a good question. Personally, no matter how attractive BN makes the Nook division... I'm not sure I would want to have anything to do with it.

And no, they obviously want to make selling it worth something to them.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:38 PM   #10
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Well yes that too. Can B&N survive without selling ebooks? Or are they headed the path of Borders and go extinct? Big stores may be nice, but they are not in easy reach unless you are in a big city. If I have to order paper books online, knowing I won't have a choice to get the ebook, why not let a local bookstore to order it. Or order the pbooks from Amazon if no local store is easily available. If B&N has to get rid of Nook, what signal does that send to the customer? Hard to put faith into them if they don't know how to sell ebooks and trust them they know pbooks well enough. In the end it doesn't matter if it was B&N fault or if they got pushed into non-existance by others - to the customer the result is the same.
Given their current burn rate and store closing rate they can easily survive a decade or more without Nook. (With Nook as they currently run it, maybe two years more.) At the end they might be down to 50 stores but they'll still be around.

As for Borders, their mismanagement brought them to bankruptcy but oddly enough, it was the BPHs that pushed them into liquidation and, worse, prevented even a truncated Borders to remain.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/07/...d-takeover-by/

It's a long story but, in brief, Borders had a really bad year and had been for months been restocking their stores off return credits. When the BPHs said, "enough, no returns. Pay cash," Borders went to bankruptcy court to reorganize. Instead, the BPHs refused any and all deals. They wanted full payment. (It wasn't even all that much by business standards, some $75 million or so. But Borders leases were eating them up alive and they couldn't come up with even that much.)
By then the BPHs had (collectively, of course) decided that they wanted Borders completely gone so their customers would be forced to go to B&N. So they blocked several attempts by investment groups and individial mall operators to buy the few profitable stores, inventory and all, to keep them running. Even under other names. The end result was the total closure of all Borders stores.

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.co...ype=blogs&_r=0

Of course, the plan to drive Borders customers to B&N was a total flop. The BPHs, as usual, misread customer behavior. They thought that since 75% of Borders stores were within a mile of a competing B&N would drive them to the survivor. The reality was that those people shopped at Borders because they didn't like shopping at B&N. With Borders gone, most opted to go to Amazon.
(The rest of Borders customers, me included, had no B&N within hundreds of miles and had no choice but to go online.)

Bottom line: the BPHs are unlikely to force B&N over the edge the way they squeezed Borders out because that would leave them with only Walmart, Target, and indies as counters to Amazon.

B&N knows this so they have been squeezing the BPHs for more payola money (the cause of their fight with S&S) which in turn makes them totally dependent on the BPHs and squeezes out smaller publishers. Which is reflected in the Nook sales mix, as reported by DBW.

In the end the BPHs will likely buy up equity in B&N to keep it open at all costs.

Last edited by fjtorres; 09-10-2014 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:27 PM   #11
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I'm kind of surprised that the major book publishers don't get together and buy out nook. This would give them control of their ebook market and give them freedom from Amazon. But my guess is nook is going down for the count, sadly.
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:27 PM   #12
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Thank you for that information. It did not read this bad when I looked at why Borders went down. It sounded more like the model of huge warehouse full of books was not liked by the customers. Good enough for browsing but not paying. And that might have been the mismanagement - but had no idea that the BPHs had so much to do with it. Will definitely check out the linked articles. Right now it does not improve my low opinion of the BPHs any.
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:50 PM   #13
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I'm kind of surprised that the major book publishers don't get together and buy out nook. This would give them control of their ebook market and give them freedom from Amazon. But my guess is nook is going down for the count, sadly.
Fortunately they cannot buy out Nook as easy way to be in control. As much as they may share the same bed, officially they are competitors. Antitrust would have a field day if they buy out Nook. It is the paper books they need to be more worried about if they don't want Amazon to snatch up that huge market share. Either way if they could get control over Nook, they don't want to. The indies are competitors too. Exclude them from Nook, and the last indies going to add to Amazons share.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:54 PM   #14
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To me google should be the one to buy nook from B&N. It would give Google larger market in the Ebooks. They already have joined hands with B&N for same day book delivery. Port all the Nook accounts to Google books and make it relevant in the ebook market.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/7/597...-book-delivery
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Old 09-12-2014, 08:05 AM   #15
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To me google should be the one to buy nook from B&N. It would give Google larger market in the Ebooks. They already have joined hands with B&N for same day book delivery. Port all the Nook accounts to Google books and make it relevant in the ebook market.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/7/597...-book-delivery
It makes some sense.

Just not as much as last year, when Nook had a 12-15% market share and Google barely registered.

By now Google is starting to get some traction on its own and Nook has faded significantly. Unless the price is very low, Google might as well keep chugging along and use the money to keep expanding internationally. And wait and see if Nook shows signs of pulling out of the death spiral. The problem with (anybody) buying Nook is that it takes time to switch owners--6 to 9 months, typically--and at Nook's current rate of decline there may not be much left by the time the deal closes.

Nook's lost ebook sales have to be going *somewhere* and they're not all going to Apple or Amazon. Kobo is a possibility but their US visibility is no higher than before, whereas Google is starting to make ripples of relevance so it may be that putting the Play store on Nook tablets is migrating not only app sales to Google, but also ebook sales. (Tough game, huh?)

Google is rich enough to overpay for scraps but I'm thinking they would have done it by now if they were going to do it. The same logic applies to Samsung and Microsoft, the other deep pockets mentioned as likely buyers.

At this point I'm starting to think it will go the way Bookish went; merged with a startup in exchange for stock. There really isn't much marketable value left in Nook today. Not with the ticking bomb of the million Samsung tablets...
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