Much, much more in this post to read, but the graph that grabbed me was this:
Placed in the context of publishing, this makes Google a critically interesting entrant in the tablet wars. Google has not heretofore made a big splash in digital book sales, although it has long been deeply engaged in publishing for years through its Google Book Search program, which has seen several iterations and re-brandings, not to mention a few “minor” legal skirmishes. Indeed, Google rather ingloriously pulled out of its partnership with independent book stores recently, leaving a market opening that others, like Zola Books, are racing to fill. Yet every indication suggests that books are integral to the Google Play release; as The Verge’s Tim Carmody notes, all of the Nexus 7′s most prominent competitors are reading tablets.
via At play in fields of tablets « PWxyz.
For me, this news illustrates a number of the trends I’ve been thinking of recently in ebooks.
- The key players are now (generally speaking) larger than publishers and booksellers (at least traditional publishers and booksellers).
- There are many moves left in this game and declaring a victor anytime soon seems like folly to me. Any number of players could come to the front (and fall back again too).
- Strategically, everybody except Amazon benefits from loosening of drm restrictions and sites like Play make the most sense in open environments. in fact Google’s whole book play seems to be founded on the premise of the ebook market moving towards drm free selling of ebooks.
- The notion of reading/books as a standalone activity is becoming much diluted and it is being placed much more squarely in the entertainment continuum which has both positive and negative implications.
The store opens with what perhaps is the best selection of titles in the Spanish digital market, and includes most of the big and medium sized publishers, such as Grupo Santillana, Roca Editorial, Random House Mondadori, Grupo SM, Grupo RBA, Grupo Edebé, Grupo Planeta, and on…
Midnight or no, people have already started to download books and Fifty Shades of Grey is thankfully not among the most favored by readers, although the wee hours of the night would seem perfect for the mommy-porn novel by E. L. James. The average price of books downloaded most often thus far are below five euros, underscoring habits imposed by competing e-tailer Amazon.
via Following Germany, Google Play Now Goes Live in Spain | Publishing Perspectives.