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Old 12-12-2018, 06:59 PM   #16
tomsem
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Amazon's predatory pricing is what started the whole thing. Publisher's and other book sellers alike were under assault from Amazon's near infinite access to cash and no need to make profits...buying up marketshare, putting the competition out or keeping them from entering, which was Apple’s case.

Apple wanted to enter the market but was not willing to invest hundreds of millions to enter a product selling goods for a loss...which is what Amazon was doing.
I think this is somewhat backwards. Apple’s entry to the market with agency pricing eliminated ‘predatory’ pricing of ebooks very quickly; that was never the issue. Imposition of agency came at an unforeseen and mostly unfair cost (losing the lawsuit, a small loss for them) but ebook pricing has not been a factor for some years now, and it was not the decisive factor in Amazon’s early success in capturing market share. I think it was mostly that they had already established themselves as the place to buy books online, and had a large pool of people primed to try out digital reading. Sony, Apple, Mobipocket, Barnes & Noble, Google, Kobo were all starting from scratch to establish a customer base that included heavy readers.

The ‘predatory’ pricing was confined to a few hundred (at most) best-selling titles, for which publishers received full royalties. Everything else was list price. The overall Kindle ebook business was always profitable. $9.99 would have covered most if not all of the royalties paid out. Sales volume was much lower then as well.

Finally, it took almost two years for Apple to deliver iBooks following the launch of App Store, their first real opportunity to enter the market. What evidence we have suggests that Steve Jobs was not convinced it was ready. Probably he was right: reading on 480x320 3.5” screens would be considered torture today, so it waited until iPad to provide some ‘frosting’ on the launch cake, followed by iPhone app a few months later. It was not even bundled with iOS until iOS 8. And there’s the famous ‘people don’t read any more’ Jobs quote (probably he’s been proven right about that as well, or will be some day). This is all by choice, not from some uncompetitive landscape.

If Apple has 10% market share, I would say they are doing very well for their investment. It’s not clear to me that having an Android app, web browser support, etc., would get them much more than that.

Last edited by tomsem; 12-12-2018 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:16 PM   #17
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Never the issue...it was THE issue, the first mover, the shot heard 'round the world.

Amazon wanted to use the publisher's own product against them. Justifying the purchase of Amazon's $400 reader by offering below wholesale prices on the entire NYT's best seller list.

Amazon was devaluing the first run Hardback, the lifeblood of the publishers.

In addition, Amazon was killing the competition who couldn’t afford a sustained campaign to lose money selling books.

And Amazon was making ebook selling a market that new entrants would stear away from.

Before Apple entered the scene, the Publishers were already fighting Amazon...some of them went so far as to pull all their books from Amazon. But it was too late, Amazon had already become the 900lb gorilla in book sales.

Amazon has been and continues to be THE anti-competitive force in the book industry.

But, folks here hate the publishers so much, they are blind to Amazon. And yet...before too long, Amazon will be the only place to get ebooks...and the only publisher OF books
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Old 12-13-2018, 02:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leebase View Post
Never the issue...it was THE issue, the first mover, the shot heard 'round the world.

Amazon wanted to use the publisher's own product against them. Justifying the purchase of Amazon's $400 reader by offering below wholesale prices on the entire NYT's best seller list.

Amazon was devaluing the first run Hardback, the lifeblood of the publishers.

In addition, Amazon was killing the competition who couldn’t afford a sustained campaign to lose money selling books.

And Amazon was making ebook selling a market that new entrants would stear away from.

Before Apple entered the scene, the Publishers were already fighting Amazon...some of them went so far as to pull all their books from Amazon. But it was too late, Amazon had already become the 900lb gorilla in book sales.

Amazon has been and continues to be THE anti-competitive force in the book industry.

But, folks here hate the publishers so much, they are blind to Amazon. And yet...before too long, Amazon will be the only place to get ebooks...and the only publisher OF books
There are publisher haters, there are Google haters, there are Amazon haters, there are Apple haters, Microsoft haters. I am not any of these. I give them all money (Google, not so much - I don’t use Google search, but still use gmail, for what it is worth to them). None of them are perfect, they all make mistakes. I have preferences, but these are subject to review and change.

Except for relatively small, poorly managed businesses like Nook, we are not going to see any major ebook retailers leaving the business (Amazon, Apple, Google, Kobo, mmm-Microsoft is not a major ebook retailer, but yup, even they launched a bookstore not that long ago after terminating their investment in Nook). These businesses are all part of huge companies with the scale it takes to have a sustainable and profitable business selling them everywhere in the world. It has been more than four years since the last dustup between a publisher and Amazon (Hachette, 2014).

Unlike the situation with music, most people still prefer analog books, and apparently will for the foreseeable future. It’s not clear that Amazon publishing ventures are anything more than another thing they are trying out and will eventually abandon (Kindle Unlimited seems sustainable, but it is actually quite limited). KDP is a vast improvement over previous options for self-publishing, as my writer wife can attest to, and Wattpad is an alternative route that has had some success in launching writing careers.

So I am not very worried about the future of publishing, or that Amazon will destroy what is best about it.

I’ve worked for several large tech companies, and ever since the Microsoft browser troubles, they have all had mandatory, regular training to inform employees what anti-competitive practices are (and now, also what harassment is) and that these are wholly unacceptable practices and behaviors. Amazon is not going to repeat Microsoft’s mistakes.

If you’re interested, this is a good rundown of ‘Amazon Controversies’:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaz..._controversies

The anti-competitive and monopolistic section as it relates to books includes only the short battle with MacMillan in 2010 with the launch of the iPad (Amazon capitulated within days), the 2014 thing with Hachette, complaints about BookSurge policy changes (no litigation ensued), and a period of contention with Canada’s import regulations as it related to ‘foreign’ booksellers (resolved).

Sorry this is OT - I think I’ve said all I want to about this, and I am sure it is more than enough.
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomsem View Post
There are publisher haters, there are Google haters, there are Amazon haters, there are Apple haters, Microsoft haters. I am not any of these. I give them all money (Google, not so much - I don’t use Google search, but still use gmail, for what it is worth to them). None of them are perfect, they all make mistakes. I have preferences, but these are subject to review and change.

Except for relatively small, poorly managed businesses like Nook, we are not going to see any major ebook retailers leaving the business (Amazon, Apple, Google, Kobo, mmm-Microsoft is not a major ebook retailer, but yup, even they launched a bookstore not that long ago after terminating their investment in Nook). These businesses are all part of huge companies with the scale it takes to have a sustainable and profitable business selling them everywhere in the world. It has been more than four years since the last dustup between a publisher and Amazon (Hachette, 2014).

Unlike the situation with music, most people still prefer analog books, and apparently will for the foreseeable future. It’s not clear that Amazon publishing ventures are anything more than another thing they are trying out and will eventually abandon (Kindle Unlimited seems sustainable, but it is actually quite limited). KDP is a vast improvement over previous options for self-publishing, as my writer wife can attest to, and Wattpad is an alternative route that has had some success in launching writing careers.

So I am not very worried about the future of publishing, or that Amazon will destroy what is best about it.

I’ve worked for several large tech companies, and ever since the Microsoft browser troubles, they have all had mandatory, regular training to inform employees what anti-competitive practices are (and now, also what harassment is) and that these are wholly unacceptable practices and behaviors. Amazon is not going to repeat Microsoft’s mistakes.

If you’re interested, this is a good rundown of ‘Amazon Controversies’:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaz..._controversies

The anti-competitive and monopolistic section as it relates to books includes only the short battle with MacMillan in 2010 with the launch of the iPad (Amazon capitulated within days), the 2014 thing with Hachette, complaints about BookSurge policy changes (no litigation ensued), and a period of contention with Canada’s import regulations as it related to ‘foreign’ booksellers (resolved).

Sorry this is OT - I think I’ve said all I want to about this, and I am sure it is more than enough.
I agree with most of this. I've posted my view of the whole Amazon/Apple ebook controversy and see no real reason to reiterate my view. I do think that Amazon has treaded a lot closer to the anti-trust line than you think but I doubt they will suffer for it.

More to the point of the thread, I really don't expect that Apple will pull back from running an ebook store any time soon. Nor do I expect the publishers to disappear any time soon. Personally, I still think that small publishers to pop up more and more, much like we see in the music industry.
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