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Old 01-26-2009, 08:26 AM   #1
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Are we out of the woods yet?

For the past couple of weeks Sony has been talking about major restructuring plans after their massive losses from the previous quarter. I've been expecting them to axe the Reader program. The numbers I've seen have been a few hundred thousand Readers sold and only a few books sold per Reader. That's not a lot of cash flow for a dinosaur like Sony.

Over the past few days Sony has been announcing product line cuts. I've seen cuts to parts of their TV line but not much else. Any thoughts? Will the Reader survive?
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:35 AM   #2
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i think it will survive ; they have suffered losses, but the reader line (surprisingly, given that it's still more or less a niche product, and that they only recently have begun advertising it) seems to be holding its own. it was even featured at CES as one of the star performing products.

i am not optimistic for a new model next year as has been their habit for the past 3 (?) years, although i hope to see one, but i don't think they will axe the existing product line. with the attention ereading is getting thanks (among others) to amazon, they would be crazy to do that now.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:53 AM   #3
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Sony has cut down several lines but if you look a bit closer you will see that most of that is redundancy cutting. When you're selling 50 models of a TV line, cutting the line down to 40 to get rid of extra models that don't sell makes sense.

Cutting down an established product line that has, er, 2 models...not quite so sensible.

Despite their lack of knowledgeable advertising they are still considered one of THE brands of readers and as such can only benefit by staying in the market as it continues to increase. Stateside, the only real competitor for consumer dollars currently is the Kindle (though I think we can all agree the situation will probably be changed completely by the end of the year due to so many new companies jumping in). I say Stateside simply because they spent so much of last years effort there instead of global markets. (Which, considering all the blasted copyright/territorial fighting going on, may have been a good move from their stand. I don't have to like it but can understand it.)

And I agree with Zelda about the new model (that we probably won't be getting). A line may not be cut but do they really have any reason to make a new model? Hmmm, no, not right now. For now, software changes will handle most reasonable complaints. Next year the tech will have changed pretty drastically from where it stands now and would make more sense for a new model.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:20 AM   #4
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I think it will. I know I've bought a good 60-70 books from Sony (if not more) since I got mine in May.

I think they are handling it well. They've got some low key but I think high impact marketing. They've been targeting high purchasing reading groups, particularly romance readers, a lot of it through blogs. This doesn't cost a whole lot of money, and will bring in the right kind of purchasers. I also think they do a great job publicizing books to Reader owners.
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:32 AM   #5
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I say Stateside simply because they spent so much of last years effort there instead of global markets. (Which, considering all the blasted copyright/territorial fighting going on, may have been a good move from their stand. I don't have to like it but can understand it.)
You are joking? They had a HUGE advertising campaign here in the UK for the British launch of the Reader. Reader adverts everywhere you turned, and massive publicity.
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:58 AM   #6
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You are joking? They had a HUGE advertising campaign here in the UK for the British launch of the Reader. Reader adverts everywhere you turned, and massive publicity.
Then I stand corrected. I was under the assumption that with all the trouble people were having buying from the Sony store overseas as well as the complete lack of awareness of most of my associates also in said areas that they had put no effort there. Apparently they just never registered the ad blitz. Might have just slid off their awareness with the thought of "another tech toy".

On the other hand, must be nice to get an ad campaign for the reader. sigh.
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:24 AM   #7
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I understand that Sony has folded the reader line back into the general consumer electronics division. So, things will certainly change, but it's not being abandoned. Sony's reader department continues to show active interest and support for Read an E-Book Week, which I doubt they'd do if the division was already designated to evaporate. (In fact, a successful REBW may be something Sony would point to as a good reason to keep the reader division going... so get ready to buy those books!)
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:20 AM   #8
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Last week I received an e-mail from Sony with a survey to complete, where I was asked what I was expecting from a future Sony Reader...
This is rather encouraging for the future of Ebook development !
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:31 AM   #9
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You are joking? They had a HUGE advertising campaign here in the UK for the British launch of the Reader. Reader adverts everywhere you turned, and massive publicity.
I must have missed that. I saw 1 or 2 the day in the papers when the reader was first released. Otherwise the only adverts I've seen for t have been in Waterstones.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:20 AM   #10
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I must have missed that. I saw 1 or 2 the day in the papers when the reader was first released. Otherwise the only adverts I've seen for t have been in Waterstones.
The "Reader" appeared on virtually every news programme on the time.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:34 AM   #11
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I wouldn't call that overly "huge" still...

It lasted what a day or two, three at the most? Huge implies to me weeks of print ads and advertisments in major london stations and bus stops. (come to think of it I vaguely remember seeing 1 ad at Bank).
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:16 PM   #12
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Well the Sony launch was pretty loud if you looked around.

While the direct ads were there, they played a small part in the overall campaign.

I was surprised at how active Sony PR was in getting a mention in most papers and most Tv channels, at least on the tech and book shows.

I believe I remember starting seeing mentions and reviews a couple of months in advance of the launch building ip to the launch.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:35 PM   #13
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The problem with the sony reader in the uk, alot of people think its locked into waterstones and prices of books are similar to high street prices on waterstones. And its stuck normally in a corner some where in waterstones. Though everybody that has seen the reader has been blown away by it, especially in sun light (when we get it in the uk). Whats really needed in the uk is some more ebook stores to push the product. I feel theres enough room in the market for paperbacks and ebooks alike.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:48 PM   #14
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There was barely any promotion in the US. I think they stuck to cities.
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:27 PM   #15
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Sony Reader

I asked the question to Sony directly - as they are a big supporter of Read an E-Book Week - and was told they have no plans to abandon the reader.

As mentioned, a successful Read an E-Book Week will be big encouragement for ANY e-book reader manufacturer, and e-book publishers, to continue giving us e-books.

I personally see electronic reading becoming much bigger in the future. More authors are allowing their books to be released as e-books (John Grisham being the latest). They can see the direction that e-books are taking -- and its UP.

Stanza has been a big hit and when Daily Lit and Short Covers really get going, well....

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