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Old 03-21-2020, 12:09 AM   #16
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I tend to get book recommendations from youtube videos. There's a whole category of youtubers, or 'booktubers' dedicated to book reviews and vlogs. Some even review ARCs of books due for publication in the near future. Or there are the many goodreads recommendations.


Those of us who love ebooks will have plenty to read, and I imagine those who prefer DTB will have a chance to dig into their TBR list.
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Old 04-18-2020, 02:18 PM   #17
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The world of newspaper publishing struggles to remain relevant while hiding behind pay walls

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Old 04-18-2020, 03:04 PM   #18
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The world of newspaper publishing struggles to remain relevant while hiding behind pay walls

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I think newspapers should have hidden behind paywalls from the beginning. Giving the content away for free from the beginning is what caused people to expect free content.

How are they supposed to make money by giving their content away as Craigslist takes away their classified advertising and ad-blockers block the on-site advertising?
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Old 04-18-2020, 04:32 PM   #19
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I think newspapers should have hidden behind paywalls from the beginning. Giving the content away for free from the beginning is what caused people to expect free content.

How are they supposed to make money by giving their content away as Craigslist takes away their classified advertising and ad-blockers block the on-site advertising?
Ads, actually.

By all appearances, ads are a lot like DRM; those that dislike them hate them with a vengeance but the vast majority of readers don't care enough to do anything about it.

The business has more or less stabilized on a two tier hybrid system with some content free, with a few *non-intrusive* ads for passers-by, and subscriptions/donations for the serious followers.

A sort of detente.
You see much the same thing with Youtube. A few short ads here and there, a few patreon supporters, a lot of free subscribers and "likers".

It's all about volume and the online audiences are really big these days. (Which includes pre-crisis.)
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Old 04-18-2020, 07:14 PM   #20
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I'd actually be mostly ok with ADs on news sites if they'd:

1. Host & serve them from their own domain (security and speed)
2. Never (and I do mean never) have them be modal popups that block the screen and obscure the content.
3. Videos need to never autoplay (or at least always default to mute)
4. Work them in along side the content in an attractive, but clear, way.
5. Commit to absolutely no cooking setting and tracking
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:01 AM   #21
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Ads, actually.

By all appearances, ads are a lot like DRM; those that dislike them hate them with a vengeance but the vast majority of readers don't care enough to do anything about it.

The business has more or less stabilized on a two tier hybrid system with some content free, with a few *non-intrusive* ads for passers-by, and subscriptions/donations for the serious followers.

A sort of detente.
You see much the same thing with Youtube. A few short ads here and there, a few patreon supporters, a lot of free subscribers and "likers".

It's all about volume and the online audiences are really big these days. (Which includes pre-crisis.)
So continue to do what they are doing which is already not working?

Before paywalls go up there tends to be pay cuts and staff reductions. That is why so many local papers have already closed.

What I was trying to say in my earlier post was that newspapers would have been better off if they had adopted paywalls right from the get-go. I remember listening to a podcast a while back about what the internet, news aggregators and Craigslist have done to their revenue. There were fights in the newsrooms about posting their content online for free in the early internet days. But the folks in charge just didn't understand how the internet would grow and take over.
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Old 04-19-2020, 02:19 AM   #22
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I'd actually be mostly ok with ADs on news sites if they'd:

1. Host & serve them from their own domain (security and speed)
2. Never (and I do mean never) have them be modal popups that block the screen and obscure the content.
3. Videos need to never autoplay (or at least always default to mute)
4. Work them in along side the content in an attractive, but clear, way.
5. Commit to absolutely no cooking setting and tracking
I agree. i hate Numbers 2 and 3 the most
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Old 04-19-2020, 05:03 AM   #23
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I agree. i hate Numbers 2 and 3 the most
I second. I have a number of sites where I pay to go ad free. I subscribe to several sites that are behind a paywall.

Autoplay videos, inappropriate ads (i.e. ads you wouldn't want a kid or your Grandmother to see), flashing ads are all extremely annoying and the big reason I use adblockers. If you don't want people to use an adblocker, then use some discretion. Don't use some 3rd party ad server based in Russia. Don't make me wait while all the ads load before showing the one paragraph of content on the page, click on next for the next paragraph and another 50 ads.
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Old 04-19-2020, 05:30 AM   #24
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So continue to do what they are doing which is already not working?

Before paywalls go up there tends to be pay cuts and staff reductions. That is why so many local papers have already closed.

What I was trying to say in my earlier post was that newspapers would have been better off if they had adopted paywalls right from the get-go. I remember listening to a podcast a while back about what the internet, news aggregators and Craigslist have done to their revenue. There were fights in the newsrooms about posting their content online for free in the early internet days. But the folks in charge just didn't understand how the internet would grow and take over.
I know of a number of papers who did just that. In general, newspapers problems on the internet are the same reasons they lost most of their paper subscribers, too many ads and too much cost cutting.

Way back when, Atlanta had two papers, The Journal was the evening paper and the Constitution was the morning paper. The Journal had a conservative lean, the Constitution a liberal lean. It was not uncommon for people to subscribe to both papers. Both had been owned by the same company since the 50's. I delivered the Journal as a paperboy.

In 1982, the two newsrooms were combined to save money, but kept separate editorial staffs (and different comics). I preferred the evening paper, mostly because the morning paper was usually delivered after I left for work and sat in the driveway all day, usually getting soaked if it rained. After a few years, people stopped subscribing to both, since the stories were the same in both papers. Over time, there were a lot more AP stories and a lot less local stories.

In 2000, they dropped the evening paper and had a combined Journal-Constitution in the morning. That was about the time I stopped subscribing. It just wasn't worth it for me anymore. That was well before they had a website.

Frankly the idea that the internet killed the local press is just a smoke screen. The local press killed the local press, which had been dying before all the internet news sites every got started. What killed the local press was losing touch with their customer base and community but that happened well before companies like Google and Craigslist.
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Old 04-19-2020, 07:51 AM   #25
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So continue to do what they are doing which is already not working?
It's not working for *some*.
Quite a few operations are doing fine.
In general, the roadkill is coming from the ones with the lowest customer base before the internet and the laggards in adapting to it. Craiglist is far from the main story.

Part of the problem is that newspapers surviving on captive readerships are struggling to compete in a now-open market where readers in smallville aren't limited to the local daily but can get their news from NY, LA, London, or anywhere in the world.

Its the same challenge of local B&M bookstores vis-a-vis online, and cable video vs streaming. Small ponds are no longer automatically safe with guaranteed customers.

On top of that, the sunday shopper ad business is also waning as businesses do mailing lists, Facebook pages, and downloadable weekly shoppers. Ads go where the people are and print news isn't always it. Even free local weeklies are getting ever thinner as ads migrate.

And then there's this:

https://weekly-ads.us

Even weekly shopper ads are going global.

Last edited by fjtorres; 04-19-2020 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 04-20-2020, 02:50 PM   #26
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The World of Books Braces for a Newly Ominous Future
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/16/b...e=articleShare
there is one mention of "digital audiobook". but there is not a single mention of "ebooks" or "digital books" in this article. even in this crisis, they still won't embrace ebooks. wow.
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Old 04-22-2020, 06:34 AM   #27
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there is one mention of "digital audiobook". but there is not a single mention of "ebooks" or "digital books" in this article. even in this crisis, they still won't embrace ebooks. wow.
Audiobooks and podcasts are reportedly down.

https://www.mediapost.com/publicatio...ing-due-t.html

Apparently the main driver of sales were commuters and with everybody stuck at home...

(Meanwhile, Netflix just reported double the new subscribers than expected: 15M instead of 7. They're not the only video streaming service to see big gains. The battle for entertainment eyeballs just took a tilt.)

Many tradpubs were counting on audio to grow indefinitely to balance out their (intentional) ebook decline. It wasn't going to happen before, and it's not going to happen now. Even after things start to slowly phase back to normality the economies of the world are going to be tight for a while and unemployment high. Price sensitivity is going to be higher than before. (Hence the gains for streaming subscriptions.)

If 2008 was bad for traditional publishing, the next few years are going to be worse. High unemployment and squeezed family budgets won't be conductive to greater pbook sales. Especially with a further decimation of b&m bookstores a likelihood.

So yeah, bad times a-coming.
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Old 04-22-2020, 06:45 AM   #28
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there is one mention of "digital audiobook". but there is not a single mention of "ebooks" or "digital books" in this article.
Yes, I was surprised by this - so much so that I read the article three times and did a text search for variants of "ebook" etc to make sure I hadn't missed it.
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Old 05-05-2020, 03:54 PM   #29
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Many tradpubs were counting on audio to grow indefinitely to balance out their (intentional) ebook decline. It wasn't going to happen before, and it's not going to happen now. Even after things start to slowly phase back to normality the economies of the world are going to be tight for a while and unemployment high. Price sensitivity is going to be higher than before. (Hence the gains for streaming subscriptions.)
From my perspective, audiobooks can be put into one three categories of quality:
* LibreVox;
* Library of Congress Talking Books for the Blind;
* GraphicAudio;

LibreVox is pump and dump, except instead of stock, it is audio. Use a screen reader, for all of the excitement that the reader conveys. The audible books I've listened to, are as exciting as the voices that were available for Window Eyes.

I don't know what the Library of Congress does, but even the duds are much more interesting to listen to, than anything from either LibreVox or Audible. Part of it is that voices are matched to the lead character of the book. Part of it is that the readers sound as if they have read the book at least once, prior to recording their reading of it. (Audible readers, as a general rule, only read the book, when they are doing their recording. Which is why they flub so many proper nouns.)

I don't know the history of GraphicAudio, but I'd guess it was started by either a frustrated movie producer, or a Foley Technician. Their sound effects library is a thing to behold in awe and wonder.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that people with limited budgets won't pay for trash, and most audio books are trash, in terms of the quality of the listening experience.
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Old 05-07-2020, 06:36 AM   #30
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From my perspective, audiobooks can be put into one three categories of quality:
* LibreVox;
* Library of Congress Talking Books for the Blind;
* GraphicAudio;

LibreVox is pump and dump, except instead of stock, it is audio. Use a screen reader, for all of the excitement that the reader conveys. The audible books I've listened to, are as exciting as the voices that were available for Window Eyes.

I don't know what the Library of Congress does, but even the duds are much more interesting to listen to, than anything from either LibreVox or Audible. Part of it is that voices are matched to the lead character of the book. Part of it is that the readers sound as if they have read the book at least once, prior to recording their reading of it. (Audible readers, as a general rule, only read the book, when they are doing their recording. Which is why they flub so many proper nouns.)

I don't know the history of GraphicAudio, but I'd guess it was started by either a frustrated movie producer, or a Foley Technician. Their sound effects library is a thing to behold in awe and wonder.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that people with limited budgets won't pay for trash, and most audio books are trash, in terms of the quality of the listening experience.
There are even more different types of audiobooks.
  1. There's the ones where the reader just reads the book with no doing voices.
  2. There's the ones where the reader does voices for the different characters.
  3. There's ones with a partial cast where the readers do different voices.
  4. There's the ones with a full cast where different people read the different characters.

I've got two audiobooks on the go. One fits 2 and the other fits 4.

His Dark Materials series are excellent audiobooks. Philip Pullman is the narrator and it has a full cast. The voices fit the characters very well. It's almost listening to a radio drama but without the sound effects.

Another full cast audiobook I really enjoyed was Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
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