There were several interesting articles in the New York Times in the past week of interest to content producers and retailers. Three large companies -- Google, Amazon, and Apple -- are shaping up to be top competitors in the future e-book marketplace. Here is a synopsis of the articles from the past week:
Both Google and Amazon announced increases in their digital offerings to include e-books formatted for mobile phones. According to the article from the New York Times, Amazon is currently working to make Kindle titles available for mobile use while Google has just introduced a new mobile version of the Google Book Search initiative. A posting from the Inside Google Book Search blog explains that over 1.5 million of the public domain books that were scanned for Google Book Search have been made into a mobile version for viewing on iPhones or phones that use Google’s Android operating system. Additionally, the New York Times article provides some commentary from analysts on whether mobile phones will take the place of dedicated e-Readers. The analysts note that they do not see this occurring in the near future due to the small size of the screen, the backlighting present while reading, and the shorter battery life, however, as mobile devices become more advanced, consumers may be willing to give up some quality in exchange for convenience and cost.
There were two other articles in The New York Times this week, one about Google and the other about Apple but both about a similar topic – these companies are changing content production (and potentially retail) as we know it. By digitizing library collections across the world, Google is gaining the ability to offer books that no one else can thereby solidifying its dominant position in the market. Meanwhile, Apple continues to dominate the music industry having just reached an agreement with the labels to allow flexible pricing in exchange for DRM free music. So what does this mean for the future?