Questions About Who Is The “Little Guy” In The E-Book Market
The New York Time’s David Carr just wrote a lengthy article about how Apple is the “little guy” when it comes to e-books. Amazon.com is the Goliath that is getting help from the U.S. Justice Department by filing a lawsuit against Apple and the book publishers. Amazon.com had a 90% market share on e-books not too long ago.
“That’s the modern equivalent of taking on Standard Oil but breaking up Ed’s Gas ’N’ Groceries on Route 19 instead,” wrote Carr in the article. Personally I would hardly compare the world’s biggest company worth $547 billion an Ed’s Gas ‘N’ Groceries. Apple is a big boy and they can handle issues like these. If Apple was involved in working with book publishers on deciding prices for the market, then the Justice Department SHOULD look into it. I’m sure the Justice Department will look into Amazon.com’s practices at some point too. My guess is that not much will come out of this whole thing, but at least the government did their due diligence.
When Amazon.com released the Kindle, the best selling books sold for $9.99 to bolster sales of the Kindle. “Not surprisingly, booksellers and publishers hated this price with the force of 10,000 suns because it made physical books sold for $25 or more seen outrageously overpriced.” The amount it costs to physically produce books is not cheap either — Amazon helps publishers save on these costs because they offer a platform for the content that does not request as much overhead. Think of all the trees that have been cut down to put together books and all of the overhead it costs to physically put together a book.
When Apple made a software market that sells some of the best apps for $1 or the ability to purchase music for $1 per song, you think the music industry was happy about that at first? Nope. You think EA enjoys having to sell their games for $1 on the Apple App Store to stay competitive? Nope. You adapt and hope to bank from the new platforms. Welcome to the 21st century, Mr. Carr.This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at +AmitChowdhry