I was thinking over the new services which allow movie watchers to buy and download feature films. These services have taken to sending DVD’s alongside the order for reasons I cannot quite understand. So long as the download can be used on another device or burned to a DVD (there’s the catch) then why send a DVD, surely so long as you can view it you don’t need the hardcopy.
Books on the other hand might well be suited to such a service. Most readers prefer to read a novel or non-fiction title in the paper copy but searching the same book would be so much easier in electronic or digital format. Is there room for a model that sells you both, one to read and one to search and research with?
And then I did some searching and found this. Looks like Amazon have been there for some time now. I recalled reading about this feature some time ago in Publishers Lunch but had not seen the value of the product until now. I wonder what the progress has been in this field.