6 thoughts on “Amazon’s Power Play: Nielsen Data As A Gateway Drug

  1. I don’t know if I’d say it cost Amazon money to release this info. BookScan data would be the only possible cost, but realistically, I don’t expect that was pricey, as it also advertises for the service (thus why Amazon only shows the last 4 weeks). Regarding the sales rank and sales history, this is data they have been storing for a while apparently, and if I can spend 300 hours building out NovelRank.com over the past year, I’m sure in 100 hours or less they could have added those features, since they only needed to get into their own database to see the numbers.

    1. Mario,

      Fair dues on Novelrank, new to me, but fascinating!

      I’m not certain you are right about the cost of the data. Two major issues. The first is that this may be marketing at folks who would never pay for the full product and so be wasted. The second is that one of the key points of value of Nielsen is that access to it is limited. Information in this case, is power. Sure they can withdraw that access at any point, but not without damaging their brand. So for the cost of potentially devaluing the brand Bookscan would rightly have charged some kind of premium!


    1. Hey Litlove!

      I love this article, I’ve read it several times and I end up disagreeing with different parts every time I do!

      On the one hand the structure of the industry is certainly a problem, but I’d point to other reasons why then what Thompson points to.

      On the other his dismissal of the pricing issue is too flippant and off-hand. Readers don’t care about overheads after all and even if they did, taking so many out results in cheaper books is their logic.

      On top of which (and I know this is a short piece) he points to “bad” changes in the industry structure without discussing how these changes increased the opportunities to purchase books for readers and what’s more, a broader array of books than even the army of independents could ever have made available.

      All in all, I get the sense his book would annoy me as much engage me and I’d throw it down in disgust! 🙂

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