Originally Posted by pdurrant
I disagree. I point to the Apple iTunes Store as a counter example. It has been getting money for digital content on a per-copy basis for nearly six years, with continual growth in sales.
Meanwhile, nearly all those music stores based on a subscription model have collapsed.
While that's true, it does not show the viability of large scale commercial digital only content.
Apple makes its money on iPods, not on iTunes, so they could afford it as a loss leader for many of those years, and while now it brings a nice profit as far as I know, iTunes is still minuscule as a *direct, sales based* revenue generator for Apple - though absolutely crucial for the company in lots of ways
I am not a fan of paid subscription models for permanent content like music or books, though it all depends on price, selection, convenience, features, so I would not write them off for now.
The razor/blades model is not viable for e-books as it has not been for e-music; there are many reasons, but it ultimately boils to needing *total, 100%, lock in, so no personal, or non-device-store bought content* for it to work and ask the ghost of Librie how that worked; the machine got hacked to allow independent content immediately and Sony wisely opened up the PRS to personal content. Amazon did not even try to lock Kindle down, though they trumpet their store, I would bet most Kindle content is still personal too
I have no idea how it will work out, but I am deeply skeptical of digital only content supporting a large scale business; not even Baen would make it without hardcovers, however *nice* is their profit from e.
Shoe-on-a-string small publishers surviving on e-books only maybe, though even for them I guess POD will be where the true money will be made...