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Old 06-18-2020, 12:35 AM   #76
MGlitch
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An interesting claim that 2014 was the last time Sony put out a professional ereader since the DPT-S1 was released that year. However the successor devices—the 13.3" DPT-RP1 and the 10.3" DPT-CP1—were released in 2017 and 2018 respectively. One of my clients loves them for the ability to encrypt on-board data which is considered critical for their law firm.

They were looking at the Remarkable 2 for their next order but the 10 week delay and the lack of on-board encryption were the deal killers. Evidently the queries to Remarkable got a response that confused Google's encryption in the cloud and during transfers as being the same as on-board encryption.
My mistake on the professional side then, someone should update a certain wiki page. But I’ll stand by the consumer level line being nixed in 2014 and as we were talking consumer products...
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Old 06-18-2020, 08:00 AM   #77
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The EU is investigating Amazon's promotion and pricing structures. KDP select, Amazon's own titles and Kindle Unlimited are predatory and anti-competitive.
.
Uh, sorry, but no.

1- The EU is investigating Amazon Merchant services, not anything else.
The complaints relate to their house brand products (Amazon Basics, etc) versus the offerings of other vendors selling similar products and how Amazon uses sales data to decide which products to offer as house brand items.

2- KDP SELECT and KINDLE UNLIMITED are clearly separate from the KDP BASIC. They are voluntary, limited, and easy to get out of. And since KU payouts are for *rentals* they can't be compared to sales. It's a service, not a product. Any comparison needs to be to other rental services, like Scribd, not dales at Nook or Kobo. SELECT existed for years with minimal success until KU came out.

3- Anti-competitive means doing something specific to avoid competition (like, ahem, price fixing), it does *not* include doing things better. If Amazon were actually doing anything truly anticompetitive the horde of amazon haters in publishing would've been all over them years ago. Think about it. Just remember all the lawsuits against Microsoft after the judge named them "monopolists"? Where are the Amazon "anti-competitive" lawsuits? THE ABA sued B&N and Borders in tbe 90's. The AG sued Google. Publishers sue each other and authors all the time. But for all the charges they throw at amazon they never act.

4- And predatory pricing has a legal meaning: pricing low, below cost, losing money to kill off competitors and *then* raising prices. So far, Amazon hasn't raised prices and any dead competitors didn't die of low prices but other demonstrated causes. Most typically, mismanagement. Again, no lzwsuits or even FTC investigations. The DOJ looked into their publishing business and found that Amazon never lost money selling books. And again, civil predatory pricing lawsuits aren't unheard, though the cheaper way is to complain to government.

5- Amazon Publishing is a story all unto itself. They are (mostly) exclusive to Kindle and AmazonBooks because, even though they are available to everybody via Ingram distribution, B&N and the other bookstores refuse to stock them. The books are inherently quite good (especially their translated international titles, an area where none of the big publishers bothers with) and get high ranking because there's nowhere else to buy them. As for their pricing, pbooks are priced like any other tradpub. eBooks were originally priced at wholesale rates (like pre-agency tradpub), about 50% of print, but over time have trended lower and now sell at a high Indie price ($5) which is competitive with other independent prices.

6- The one area where AmazonPublishing books have an edge is with the PRIME monthly freebies yet, Samsung had (has?) the same deal. And, most importantly to antitrust concerns, PRIME pays APub for the books they give away to subscribers (just as they pay for the music, video, and magazines in their other free services). And what they pay isn't peanuts. Authors are under NDA so the can't reveal details but general stuff leaks, like the fact that the authors get an upfront lump sum payment for those books, separate from their rental and sales royalties. Rumors have the lump sums running at about a year's salary (mid 5-figures) so their authors are quite happy. Nonetheless, there is nothing APub is doing that other big publishers couldn't do. They just don't think in terms of maximizing unit sales. The closest are/were the HARLEQUIN paperback subscription service and the BAEN monthly bundles which both offer readers substantial savings for direct, limited time sales.

All the griping you hear about Amazon publishing is because they follow a strategy of maximizing unit sales versus maximizing reader spend and letting the market set their prices. Like I said, APub ebooks sgarted out at $9-10 and slowly their base price dropped to $8,7, and 6 until at $5 their volume exploded. This is not illegal and is in fact common in most businesses.

Amazon has a big cadre of lawyers, like any big company, and they are careful not to violate any US antritrust laws, which exist to protect *consumers*. Whether the same practices apply in Europe, where antitrust exists to protect competitors, even at consumers' expense, is TBD.

Basically where B&N and Kobo and other booksellers go as far as "stock it and they will come" Amazon treats books like any other product and tries all sorts of promotions and services. Some fail (Kindle Worlds, Kindle Scout, Kindle shorts) but others succeed.

Now, which of those has Nook tried?
Kobo?
Tolino?

You can't succeed if you don't try.

The fault isn't with Amazon but with the competitors.
Simple test: go to Rauten's storefront. Loop for Kobo.
See what kind of support deep pocketed Rakuten gives Kobo.
And Kobo tries, they try to pry away indies with library availability, a subscription service, other fringe benefits.

NOOK does...?
Something as simple as a Nook store on eBay would be trivial to set up but they did nothing. And do nothing.

Stock it and (hope) they will come isn't much of a competition stategy.
Neither is floating empty accusations.

Peace.

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Old 06-18-2020, 08:23 AM   #78
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I know the current probe doesn't include KOLL and KU. I'm rather sick of people advertising books as Free, when for an ordinary Amazon customer they are not. Also enrolling in KDP Select forbids the selling of the the book elsewhere. Amazon also won't withdraw listings for withdrawn products.

I do agree that Amazon's competitors are inept. The Big publishers are particularly inept.

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Old 06-18-2020, 08:33 AM   #79
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My mistake on the professional side then, someone should update a certain wiki page. But I’ll stand by the consumer level line being nixed in 2014 and as we were talking consumer products...
Yeah, they're different markets.
For one thing, they're document viewers (pdf) not ebook readers (epub or lrf).

It's like the difference between a Samsung TV from BestBuy and a Microsoft Surface Hub or Google's (me too!) Jamboard.

Sony made good readers but they were out of sync with the market.
They had a good walled garden bookstore and killed it in favor of interoperative epub just as Kindle's started to mainstream ebooks; they focused on lighting and touchscreens while the market wanted wireless, they did premiumhardware when the market wanted cheap access (they misread the value of Pearl screens and underproduced and ran out, leaving Amazon with an effective monopoly for months) and then pivoted to chdap readers as the early adopters were ready for premium readers.

Their list of misssed opportunities isn't as bad as B&N but the world would be a different place is they'd stuck with the LRF walled garden. They were the hardware first movers, they *should* have been big time. Instead, they blew it.
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Old 06-18-2020, 10:35 AM   #80
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My mistake on the professional side then, someone should update a certain wiki page. But I’ll stand by the consumer level line being nixed in 2014 and as we were talking consumer products...
True that Sony left the consumer market in 2014. Given that you were the one who brought up the professional products so I feel that pointing out Sony still has two entries in the professional market was in line with the your post.
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:55 AM   #81
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I'm rather sick of people advertising books as Free, when for an ordinary Amazon customer they are not.
Two things to remember:

1- the bulk of Amazon's customers *aren't* ordinary "drive up" customers. They will service them, often cheaper than other sites (but not always) but that is not who they target and they haven't since 2005. Amazon is all about PRIME. That is 150M accounts at the latest (early 2020, pre lockdowns) and since the account rules *encourage* sharing within a family (sibling, for example) the number of people with access to Prime perks is easily double or triple. Their business model is no different from Costco, Sams, and the other membership retailers.

2- The whole point of serving non-members (which other membership retailers don't always do) is to *highlight* the differences to get non-members to become members.

Consider that Amazon spends $10B a year on shipping but PRIME brings in $15-18B in subscription fees alone. That means they have $6B to spend on buying ebooks for members, licensing music, video, and games, paying for original movies and video series, and plain profit.

Plus whatever profit they make off sales.

So, what incentive do they have to be extra nice to non-members?

Subscriptions are a powerful business model, just ask Netflix and Microsoft. Kobo is trying to get into that game for a reason.

If the PRIME perks aren't enough induce you to subscribe then you're not likely to spend enough to be worth giving access to the perks. (TINSTAAFL!)

Their aim is making money, after all.

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Old 06-18-2020, 12:08 PM   #82
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TINSTAAFL
Then you agree that labeling something non-free as free is misleading.
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Old 06-19-2020, 04:22 AM   #83
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Is there proof Prime is the bulk of customers? Though certainly most customers are regular, not "drive by" once off. Also the subscription model overcharges the occasional users and subsidises heavy users of a service. Of course Amazon wants more Prime subscribers, it's extra profit. Greed. That's why even today with the flexibility of how encryption works compared to analogue era, that almost no-one in Pay TV or streaming offers a la carte. There is a basic large package and then things like sport are an extra level. Only special events generally are pay per view. I'm not sure if broadcast pay TV still does PPV movies, I'd imagine streaming is killing that.

Most people would be better off and have more time for what they really want if they cancelled all subscriptions and purchased the content they want.

Subscriptions are parasitical and more profitable because the consumer is paying more and content creator is often getting paid less.

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Old 06-19-2020, 07:50 AM   #84
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Is there proof Prime is the bulk of customers? Though certainly most customers are regular, not "drive by" once off. Also the subscription model overcharges the occasional users and subsidises heavy users of a service. Of course Amazon wants more Prime subscribers, it's extra profit. Greed. That's why even today with the flexibility of how encryption works compared to analogue era, that almost no-one in Pay TV or streaming offers a la carte. There is a basic large package and then things like sport are an extra level. Only special events generally are pay per view. I'm not sure if broadcast pay TV still does PPV movies, I'd imagine streaming is killing that.

Most people would be better off and have more time for what they really want if they cancelled all subscriptions and purchased the content they want.

Subscriptions are parasitical and more profitable because the consumer is paying more and content creator is often getting paid less.
Yes, cable tv still has PPV. There are a lot of people out there who are still struggling with using the remote, and have no desire to figure out a la carte streaming.

Content is king in the entertainment world. I buy a lot of movies and TV shows (both DVD/Blu-Ray and digital download), but for a lot of people who plop down in front of the TV and start flipping channels, cable and subscription TV works just fine. Disney + passed 54 million subscribers back in May because people like it's content.

I'm sure the way you watch content works well for you, but it's not the one and only true way to watch.
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Old 06-19-2020, 09:42 AM   #85
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“Still active” Jon. Sony is not still active in this market nor have they been for over half a decade. Sony was active in 2014 but that was the last time they put out a consumer level ereader, and professional for that matter.

I know you love your Sony reader but the world and even Sony have moved on.
The term major brand does not mean still active.

I've moved on from Sony. I do have my 650 and T1, but they don't get used and the nook STR also doesn't get used.
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Old 06-19-2020, 10:10 AM   #86
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The term major brand does not mean still active.

I've moved on from Sony. I do have my 650 and T1, but they don't get used and the nook STR also doesn't get used.
Which is why I added the qualifier in the post. It really seems you don’t read some posts fully Jon this isn’t the first time it’s happened in a number of posts where you provide answers to an entirely different question.

ETA:
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Originally Posted by MGlitch View Post
Sorry, I should have specified "major brands" to mean brands that are still active in the ereader market. I believe Sony had dropped out of that field six years ago.
Emphasis mine but as it’s also my original words well...

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Old 06-19-2020, 12:17 PM   #87
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Is there proof Prime is the bulk of customers?

Of course there is.
Here:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/...aying-members/

It's only up to 2019, but when you consider Amazon prime subscriptions are *household* subscriptions and they have something over 80million subscriptions in the US, vs 128M households, that makes it about two thirds of customers.
More, prime subscribers spend $1400 a year vs $600 for the non-subscribers.

Feel free to bring up class differences; Amazon makes no bones that they court the more affluent even though they offer significant subscription discounts to welfare recipients and students.

As for greed, yes, they want every last penny they can get.
So what?

Who gets into commerce if they don't want to maximize profits?
Not everybody does it well but it still isn't illegal to be good at it. Not in the US, not in Russia a not China, nor even in Europe.

The past two centuries have made it clear that business succes is a snowball; the more successful you are, the bigger you get and the bigger you get the more successful you are. And the trend isn't stopping. If anything it is accelerating. Most of us here will live to see the day of the trillionaires. Plural. And they won't get there by selling ebooks or internet video. They will literally make their money in a vacuum.

Now if you want to see how Amazon might get cut to size, here:

https://www.economist.com/briefing/2...uthful-startup

Enjoy.
Do note however that the likely candidates are Microsoft, WalMart, Google, and Facebook. Maybe Apple. Not Nook or Kobo or Tolino or Rakuten nor Ali Baba. Or any local retailer. While everybody focuses on retail Amazon has moved on to more profitable businesses.
"Greedy" all.

The video story varies by location. So viewer habits will vary.
My most subscription is HBOMAX which, like Disney+ is rolling out in phases.
I preordered so I got a discount to Netflix prices.For $12 a month I get everything on HBO (on my schedule, not theirs) and everything from 8 other WB subsidiaries.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/HBO_Max

They're still ramping up so they only launched with 10,000 Hours on content. Not everybody is going to like everything but most folks wil find enough to justify the price. Be it ten years of Doctor Who, WATCHMEN, HIS DARK MATERIALS, the new DUNE SERIES, a few thousand classic movies, or every Looney Tune cartoon ever. Ad-free.

Being big means tbey have something for everybody willing to pay.

Netflix has 160M subscribers, Disney+ has 52M after only six months. PRIME has 150M.

And it's not just video.
Microsoft has 60M subscribers to Microsoft 365, 64 million more to XBOX LIVE, 10m to GamePass.
Sony has 36 Million on Playstation Plus.
Spotify has 83M *paid* subscribers.
And there's hundreds more services in music, video, ebooks, online storage, site hosting, and yes, shopping.

They don't seem to think subscriptions are a ripoff.

It's all about knowing what your needs are and aligning your interests and spending.

For people with high shipping costs three or for Amazon will pay for Prime. Or if you like ebooks, the 12 free ebooks you *choose* make up half of Prime right there. Bingeing two series a year (Say, Bosch, The Boys, or the Expanse) can make up the rest, even if you don't buy anything.

For gamers, $10 a month for GAME PASS on PC or XBOX means access to over a hundred games, including many AAA games from launch day.

It's not just ebooks where "stock it and they will come" is a failure.
It's the age of the Mall Apocalypse, online everything, and cordcutting.
Whole new age a-borning.

And tbat was before the lockdowns.
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Old 06-19-2020, 07:09 PM   #88
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Of course Amazon wants more Prime subscribers, it's extra profit. Greed.
Of course it's greed. That's the nature of capitalism: an attempt to put our greed to work for us.

Greed isn't something just corporations have. It's something we all have. There's no getting away from it. Capitalism tries to make it useful to all of us. While there are lots of examples of that idea failing overall it does work pretty well. Better than any other system we've devised so far.

I say let's celebrate greed as long as it stays within the law.

By the way, I'm a Prime subscriber and I have been since it began. I live in a small town not near any big town and I have no car. Amazon's Prime is a big money saver for me. And it makes money for Amazon. So that's at least one happy greedy corporation and one happy greedy customer.

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Old 06-19-2020, 08:24 PM   #89
fjtorres
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Originally Posted by barryem View Post

By the way, I'm a Prime subscriber and I have been since it began. I live in a small town not near any big town and I have no car. Amazon's Prime is a big money saver for me. And it makes money for Amazon. So that's at least one happy greedy corporation and one happy greedy customer.

Barry
Any bookstores in that town?
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Old 06-19-2020, 10:05 PM   #90
rcentros
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Greed isn't something just corporations have. It's something we all have. There's no getting away from it. Capitalism tries to make it useful to all of us. While there are lots of examples of that idea failing overall it does work pretty well. Better than any other system we've devised so far.
Capitalism does not require greed. Nor are we all greedy. Simply not true. Greed is not good (it's ridiculous that this has to be said).

Capitalism simply means "an economic system based on private ownership of capital." There's nothing there that requires greed. Nor does it require cheating your help or using predatory practices to destroy your competition. Or that you become a monopoly. Nor does it require buying a company to break it up for pieces and turning out thousands of workers. That's greed, not capitalism.

Greed means, "excessive desire to acquire or possess more (especially more material wealth) than one needs or deserves." I've never wanted or plotted to get something that rightfully belonged to someone else. I've just tried to make my own way, without harming someone else. Someone who is greedy doesn't care if they harm someone else (or some other company) so long as they get what they want.

Ideally capitalism means free enterprise. Where everyone has a chance to succeed and where unfair practices are banned – where the rich are not allowed to undercut the poor (or the powerful can't undercut the weak). In the Middle ages they had the guilds, where (at least ideally) rules were followed that insured those who worked hard weren't run out of business.

That's the kind of capitalism I would like to see. Not the "suck the marrow out of 'em" venture capitalism that truly is pure greed.
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