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Old 06-23-2008, 04:24 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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The Amazon e-book sales guessing game continues

There's nothing like silence to get tongues wagging. The refusal of Amazon to reveal how many Kindles or e-books the company has sold has morphed into a major guessing game. Analysts have taken sides, and this week, Steve Weinstein of Pacific Crest hinted that global e-book sales at Amazon could reach $2.5 billion by the year 2012. PaidContent reports:

Quote:
To figure this, Weinstein starts with the handiest analogue: iPod and MP3 player sales. He notes that between 2003 and 2008, digital music sales grew from 2 percent of the US market to 33 percent, largely on the back of Apple’s (NSDQ: AAPL) twin offerings. He doesn’t expect the Kindle/e-books to track as fast, but he does think the market is off to a strong start already, and that the cycle will pick up steam as the Kindle comes down in price (that’s already started) and the ecosystem matures. He also suspects the consumers will be drawn to the instant gratification aspect of Kindle titles, as well as the lower price per book.
Mr. Weinstein's line of reasoning reminds me of the Kindle is the iPod of reading analogy, first coined by Steve Levyin in his widely read Newsweek cover story. But the underlying question really is: Do you believe that the Kindle (or e-books in general) will have the same impact on publishing that Apple's iPod had on the music business?

Related: Amazon Kindle projections overrated?, PVI revenues drop - weakening e-paper orders, E-books are three years behind MP3s
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:42 PM   #2
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Also at the Barrons blog today:

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Weinstein repeats a comment Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made at the D: All Things Digital conference that the company is seeing 6% of book sales in electronic form for the 125,000 titles sold in both print and digital formats. Weinstein notes that in 2007, e-books overall were less than 1% of all U.S. book sales.

Weinstein asserts that the Amazon Kindle e-book reader “could be the catalyst for accelerating the growth of e-books for Amazon, much the way that the iPod fueled the growth of digital music.”
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:44 PM   #3
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I know that the pace that *I* buy books has gone up since aquiring my PRS-500. Hell, I'd have switched to Kindle already if it supported the Sony reader format. Even if teh Kindle is ugly as sin. Our CEO has a Kindle. Maybe I can con him into playing show and tell with it.
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic View Post
But the underlying question really is: Do you believe that the Kindle (or e-books in general) will have the same impact on publishing that Apple's iPod had on the music business?
I can see e-magazines having that same impact... magazines are really more analogous to the MP3 market than books, IMO. And if they do, they will probably bring e-books along for the ride.
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TheMooch View Post
Hell, I'd have switched to Kindle already if it supported the Sony reader format. Even if teh Kindle is ugly as sin.
Be careful, TheMooch, didn't you know that making snarky comments about the Kindle will get you ignored? Or maybe it's just me.

I agree with you though, I've bought about 50 books since switching to the Reader, which is about about double what I would have spent in pbooks over the same amount of time (6 months).
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jplumey View Post
Be careful, TheMooch, didn't you know that making snarky comments about the Kindle will get you ignored? Or maybe it's just me.

I agree with you though, I've bought about 50 books since switching to the Reader, which is about about double what I would have spent in pbooks over the same amount of time (6 months).

LOL, Getting ignored is a way of life for me. In today's day and age, the only way not to annoy someone into ignoring you (and THAT isn't even a guarantee) is to not participate. Our Dr. Phil culture has had the affect of thinning our skins to the point where we can't tolerate anything other than our own thoughts.

With that said...It *IS* ugly!

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Old 06-23-2008, 07:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMooch View Post
LOL, Getting ignored is a way of life for me. In today's day and age, the only way not to annoy someone into ignoring you (and THAT isn't even a guarantee) is to not participate. Our Dr. Phil culture has had the affect of thinning our skins to the point where we can't tolerate anything other than our own thoughts.

With that said...It *IS* ugly!

In your opinion ... which doesn't count for much.
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic View Post
There's nothing like silence to get tongues wagging. The refusal of Amazon to reveal how many Kindles or e-books the company has sold has morphed into a major guessing game. Analysts have taken sides, and this week, Steve Weinstein of Pacific Crest hinted that global e-book sales at Amazon could reach $2.5 billion by the year 2012. PaidContent reports:



Mr. Weinstein's line of reasoning reminds me of the Kindle is the iPod of reading analogy, first coined by Steve Levyin in his widely read Newsweek cover story. But the underlying question really is: Do you believe that the Kindle (or e-books in general) will have the same impact on publishing that Apple's iPod had on the music business?

Related: Amazon Kindle projections overrated?, PVI revenues drop - weakening e-paper orders, E-books are three years behind MP3s
Well, I've certainly purchased several hundred dollars worth of books in the past week. I really love the one-click Whispernet purchasing option.

I am already purchasing books much like I purchase music now ... and the iPod really increased my music purchases ... probably 100 fold. So, for me, and possibly only for me, the analogy works.
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:44 PM   #9
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The problem with the analogy is that, in my honest opinion, not nearly as many people read as listen to music. Virtually everyone listens to one form of music or another. I am not sure that is true of reading.

Take this for example, I just finished moving houses. A large percentage of the boxes I had to move were my library. I had a couple of kids helping me and when they asked why the boxes were heavy, they seemed shocked that someone would own books, let alone boxes of them.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:59 AM   #10
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In your opinion ... which doesn't count for much.
So my ex-wife tells me.
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:46 AM   #11
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I think the stumble stone of the analogy beyond what rcr62 (
Quote:
not nearly as many people read as listen to music
) already mentioned, is that the iPod was often bought for itself. It was|is still *cool* to own and show one for many people. As long as the Kindle is sold in the US only and Amazon simply lacks this very special kind of spirit that Apple has in the eyes of many consumers, it won't be that successful. Nonetheless I think from the European point of view that it seems the Kindle with amazons power does plough the field for the mass market.

Despite all efforts of gutenberg and similar communities, you still cannot place a book into a 100-300$ scanning-device and have it digitized (without manual work) automagically in nearly every PC. So you still cannot buy a book physically as a cd and copy its content on a mediaplayer. And guess why the music industry seems to have found their heart again for vinyl-record collectors ? - you still want a digital copy of the content and you'll pay for it as long as you are no tech-addicted.
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
I can see e-magazines having that same impact... magazines are really more analogous to the MP3 market than books, IMO. And if they do, they will probably bring e-books along for the ride.
The main problem, as I see it, with the magazine market is that many "mainstream" paper magazines get a very large proportion of their income from advertising as well as from actual magazine sales. I wonder how effective advertising is on the current generation of eBook readers, and how many of their current "paper" advertisers would be willing to transfer that revenue to an electronic format?
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:01 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
The main problem, as I see it, with the magazine market is that many "mainstream" paper magazines get a very large proportion of their income from advertising as well as from actual magazine sales. I wonder how effective advertising is on the current generation of eBook readers, and how many of their current "paper" advertisers would be willing to transfer that revenue to an electronic format?
And I wonder if advertisers and renting a place in the magazine or in the paper. I think it's in the former. So if a magazine changes its medium, that would be okay for advertizers. They just want their message to reach the magazine readers. In paper or electronic format, whatever.
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:06 AM   #14
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So my ex-wife tells me.
RickyMaveety is your ex-wife?

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Old 06-24-2008, 06:13 AM   #15
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With that said...It *IS* ugly!

Karma is on its way

Last edited by astra; 06-24-2008 at 11:38 AM.
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