Netflix and Amazon Continue Pursuit of Younger Audience

Netflix today announced the launch of Netflix Families, a new destination site intended to promote Netflix’s family-friendly offerings. The website features Netflix recommendations for parents and children, streaming tips and promotional content. Also, Amazon announced that it has added more than a thousand books, games, educational apps, movies and TV shows to its Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, including kids’ titles from Disney, Warner Bros. and Electronic Arts. Continue reading Netflix and Amazon Continue Pursuit of Younger Audience

ReDigi: Judge Rules Reselling of Digital Goods not Legal

ReDigi, the online platform that allows consumers to buy and sell used MP3 files that were initially purchased legally through retailers such as iTunes, has been deemed unlawful by U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan. The case considered the first sale copyright doctrine, which gives people in possession of copyrighted materials the right to resell them. But the judge ruled that this first sale theory does not apply to the reselling of digital goods. Continue reading ReDigi: Judge Rules Reselling of Digital Goods not Legal

Book Readers Find Social Networking Home on Goodreads

Book fans are finding an online community in, a social media site for discovery and sharing that already has 15 million members. The site has become immensely popular and is rivaling as a new platform for promoting books. On Goodreads, users can post reviews and ratings publicly or privately within self-selected networks of online friends. Continue reading Book Readers Find Social Networking Home on Goodreads

PCWorld Review: Bottom Line on the Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet

  • PCWorld offers its take on the Amazon’s new Kindle Fire and, overall, the review is not kind.
  • “The Kindle Fire is best considered a relatively inexpensive, hassle-free but flawed way to consume books, music, and videos purchased at Amazon,” indicates the article. “As a tablet, though, the Fire can’t hold a candle to the best tablets available today: It has subpar specs, a limited interface, and a surprisingly messy app store.”
  • The review praises the device’s integration with Amazon’s media storefronts as its strongest feature, especially in regards to consolidating the user experience: “The Newsstand, Books, Music, and Apps tabs all take you to your personal library first, and then offer a prominent but not offensive option to go to the store for that category.”
  • However, the write-up details problems with what the reviewer sees as several design flaws, app behavior that was “all over the map,” skimpy specs and occasionally “glitchy” software issues.
  • Bottom Line: “The Amazon Kindle Fire makes trade-offs to achieve a $200 price. It’s easy to dismiss some of the compromises and weaknesses of the Kindle Fire as the sacrifices necessary to achieve a price point, but the reality is that the Fire may not meet your expectations if you’re looking for an Apple iPad 2-like tablet. For those people who go in knowing what they’re getting, and who want an inexpensive tablet that capably — though not spectacularly — handles their Amazon books, music, and video, the Kindle Fire’s limitations may be acceptable. However, the Fire falls far short of providing a full and satisfying tablet experience.”

Kindle Fire: Amazon Jumps into the Tablet Fray with iPad Competitor

  • Amazon has unveiled the Kindle Fire — a 7-inch touch-screen, color, and Wi-Fi tablet with dual-core processor that will sell for $199. The new tablet was announced by chief exec Jeff Bezos at a press event yesterday in New York City.
  • The Android-based device will offer access to Amazon’s app store, books, streaming movies and TV shows. Moreover, the expectation is that it will increase sales for Amazon’s other merchandise. Fire is available for pre-ordering and will be available November 15.
  • “The online retailer is gambling it can succeed with its tablet where several other giants, including Hewlett-Packard Co. and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd., have so far failed,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “Unlike those companies, Amazon already has a vast library of digital content to sell and tens of millions of credit-card numbers.”
  • The article suggests that the Kindle Fire may have an advantage over other tablets that have attempted to take on the iPad: “Amazon’s library of digital content, which its tablet users can access. Customers can pay $79 a year for a service known as Amazon Prime, which gives them access to 11,000 movies and TV shows, as well as unlimited two-day shipping for physical goods purchased on Amazon also sells single movies, TV shows and music songs, with a catalog that competes with that of Apple’s iTunes store.”
  • Amazon also introduced three new Kindle e-readers — a touch-screen 3G version for $149, a touch-screen Wi-Fi version for $99, and a non-touch-screen model for $79.

Will the Rise of Electronic Books Destroy Writing as a Profession?

  • During his bleak forecast of the publishing industry at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, novelist Ewan Morrison suggested the rise of the e-book will mean the end of writers as a profession, as piracy and a demand for steep discounts take over the book industry as it has with music, newspapers, games, porn, photography, telecommunications and home video.
  • Publishers will no longer be able to provide advances to enable writers to make a decent living and writers will increasingly depend on the “long tail” which cannot support them. Morrison adds that only established writers will prosper.
  • In 10 to 15 years, he believes the largest “publishers” will be Google, Amazon and Apple.
  • “The writer will become an entrepreneur with a short shelf life, in a world without publishers or even shelves,” predicts Morrison.

Andrew Losowsky Examines Reading In Four Dimensions

  • Andrew Losowsky, books editor for The Huffington Post, has released “Reading in Four Dimensions” (available as a 99-cent Kindle Single) — a fascinating essay on the future of publishing and how the Internet has impacted the reading experience.
  • Many of us are publishing in new ways via Facebook, Twitter, blogs and more. Readers are interacting with these “works” in a kind of social reading environment, which changes the way stories are written and read.
  • Physical books will get better, but there will be fewer of them. Books do not change like Web entries that become features and can travel with you like a time machine that catalogues the thinking of that time.
  • The TechCrunch post includes a video interview with Losowsky that addresses key points from his essay, including “how print brings permanence to digital publishing, how the concept of ‘publishing’ has translated online and the value of paper books in our increasingly digital world.”

Borders to Close its Doors for Good by September

  • Following failed attempts to draw investor interest in a bankruptcy court auction, Borders Group Inc. has announced it will liquidate its remaining assets.
  • The second-largest U.S. bookstore chain says it will start liquidating its remaining 399 stores as soon as Friday, with the business to be shuttered for good by September. The company employs nearly 11,000 people.
  • “We were all working hard toward a different outcome, but the head winds we have been facing for quite some time, including the rapidly changing book industry, [electronic reader] revolution and turbulent economy, have brought us to where we are now,” explained Borders President Mike Edwards.
  • Analysts have expressed concern that the demise of Borders may speed the decline in book sales and possibly make it more challenging for new writers to be discovered. Michael Norris, a senior analyst at Simba Information added, “Thousands of people whose job consisted of talking up and selling books will eventually being doing something else, and that’s bad for authors, agents, and everyone associated with the value chain in books.”
  • ETCentric staffer Dennis Kuba commented: “Looks like Amazon has one more to go. I’ll miss browsing through the stacks.”

Page 5 of 512345