Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kindle news: Publisher 70% deal -Effect on users. New Kindle TV ads. Kindlestore in Germany?

A LOT OF NEWS, so some items are short.

Golf11 (Randall) lets us know of two new Kindle ads, which are getting thumbs up by a few for not being aimed at another device :-), though I noted those people must have missed the last one because it was just a nice scene in a park though things like that seldom get people's attention.

 The first one shows a woman whose grandson would like a book for Christmas, but he has a seemingly endless list of them when asked which one.  Guess what she does.

The second one involves more people and situations and some zest.

Click on the images to see the TV ad for each.  In the 2nd one, there's a fleeting glimpse of a 'cool' way for a guy to carry his Kindle, I guess, but I don't think it'd last very long for reading that way.

About time, I guess. thebookseller.com reports today that Germany might be the next market for a dedicated Amazon store.  It makes sense since Amazon.de in Germany has not sold the Kindle or accessories, and the "overwhelming majority" of books in the store are in English.  Buchmarkt reported that publishers at a recent conference in Berlin said they were in discussions with Amazon representatives about a 2011 launch of a Kindle store in that country

In the past, publishers have complained that Amazon has wanted up to 70% of the revenue for delivering newspapers and magazines over 3G wireless while others have noted that the cost of daily deliveries can add up, if judging by what cellular wireless providers charge us for our web-data access per month.  Obviously, Amazon can get better terms than we can, but one "insider" was quoted as saying that the previous/current split for a periodical like The New Yorker had been more like "33% New Yorker, 33% Amazon, and 33% wireless carrier."

  Now that the majority of deliveries soon can be via WiFi instead, to Kindles that have that (both Kindle 3's  (UK: K3)), the overall cost of delivery ("paid distribution") may be quite a bit lower.

  Amazon has offered the publishers 70% minus the cost of delivery.  One editor inserted, a bit thick-headedly, this morning: "(I thought the whole point is that there aren't any delivery costs - Ed)" apparently living all this time without a cellular wireless web data plan (I understand, as I won't have one either -- if I need to look something up I use the Kindle's free 3G).

  Also, besides the normal competitive reasons (Apple providing publishers better terms for subscriptions on a color device), Amazon plans to make periodicals shareable for the first time on other devices such as the various Apple iDevices and after that the Blackberry, Android, and Windows7 devices.  The first should happen in "the coming weeks."

  Already, the WSJ has made noises about opting out of the planned device-sharing of periodicals because they want direct deals with Apple but now why wouldn't they like the new revenue plan and their newspapers available on all those different devices?  Apple ebooks are available only on Apple devices.

 The New York Times was said to be hesitating as well, at that time, re the device-sharing, but the new Amazon program offers to other publishers the hook of being featured "along with notable publications like New York Times and the Economist."

  In addition, some publishers have not been able to go with Apple due to existing licensing requirements with Amazon, but now Amazon will offer the new revenue sharing plan in new Agreements with existing publishers as well.
  Will Apple insist on exclusives? I don't think that would work for them if Amazon is willing to make their new contracts non-exclusive.  And it especially wouldn't work for them with all the new tablets coming out and once Amazon comes out with its own color tablet.

  So, here's the deal (and there are hopes that the new terms, so favorable to publishers, will encourage lower pricing by the publishers since they now get a bit more than double what they had before): The new publishing revenue program goes into effect December 1.  Some of the Amazon wording:
' For orders delivered to Kindles using Amazon's Whispernet service, delivery costs are shared between Amazon and the publishers (see www.amazon.com/kppinfo for more information).

To qualify for the 70-percent royalty terms, newspapers and magazines must satisfy several customer experience requirements, including:

* Customers can read the title on all Kindle devices [!] and applications.
* Customers can read the title in all geographies for which the publisher has rights.
[ My bracketed exclamation mark is because, currently, one cannot share a periodical we've bought with another Kindle that we OWN or have UPGRADED TO or had to have replaced if a prior one was defective.

  This has been a very troubling point.  Does that language actually mean other KINDLES now too?  I sure hope so, but their forum announcement of October 22 had not said this, mentioning only apps for other devices. ]
These new terms do not apply to blog publishers because existing terms are generally more advantageous for them.
They are?  They must mean for the big guys.  But they are also thinking of The New York Times Latest News blog which can be updated and delivered 5 or so times a day, which is probably costly to Amazon AND Kindlers get this for $1.99/mo.  Anything distributed via updates must be a 'blog' and not a 'newspaper.'

NOTE that the offer requires that publishers "be able to provide 100% of ... content* for each edition/issue."

Network World carries a writeup by Mikael Ricknäs, who points out
' "Publishers will get their share of the revenue after Amazon deducts delivery costs.  These apply if the content is delivered via what Amazon calls a paid distribution method, such as its own Whispernet 3G mobile wireless service.

That service costs US$0.15 per megabyte, so the data cost of a newspaper that delivers 9.0MB per month is $1.35. If the publication retails for $9.99 per month, the publisher would earn $6.05 for each subscription. '

The New York Times' Claire Cain Miller thinks that the feature of having purchased subscriptions readable on one's Kindle apps for OTHER devices (possibly for even a second owned-kindle now) will mean that, in exchange for being able to buy a publication once and read it anywhere, Kindle subscribers will have to buy their reading material from Amazon and the publishers are now being enticed to make their subscriptions available on all apps and in all territories where they hold the rights.

  She also adds the point mentioned earlier that "Amazon has also been absorbing the 3G connection costs for Kindle downloads.  But it has been saving money on that front since it began offering a Wi-Fi version of the Kindle in August."

For those of you who want to study this in more depth, here is the Kindle Publishing for Periodicals FAQ for publishers.

NOTE THIS ALSO - "Will the publications be available in all countries?
  Publications launched through Kindle Publishing for Periodicals (KPP) are currently only available in the United States.  Publications will be launched globally in the near future.  Publishers from around the world are encouraged to participate and load their publications for sale.

 This seems similar to the situation with the Kindle word games apps.

From the FAQ, "Amazon.com determines the Kindle edition price."

From the FAQ, "More than 95% match to the print edition"

All right, with heavy imagery, how will that be done?  Will that be sold ONLY on tablets made by other vendors, which can handle heavy imagery?

 Or is this yet another indication that an Amazon Android Tablet will be a player in all this, eventually?

At any rate, lots more news that I'll save for next time.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

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  1. I hope for a German Kindle store without the restrictions of the UK store.
    My father is very interested in a DX, reads mostly German language books, but we don't live in Germany...

  2. I wonder what German (or French) consumers think about not being able to properly input text on Kindle (no way to enter diacritics etc.), and that the keyboard layouts they use are not qwerty. Not to mention that the menus and button labels are in English...

    This is where touch screen interfaces have it all over one that relies on a physical keyboard...it's all 'just software'.

    I trust an internationalized Kindle is in Amazon's plans, or that at the least the firmware can be easily adapted to different keyboard layouts. It's probably not that expensive to paint different labels on the buttons and release 'German Kindle', though there aren't enough of them on the current hardware to have a key for all letters of French or German alphabet.

    Anyway it will be interesting to see if Amazon will release localized Kindles based on existing models, or if they will just set up the store and deal with these other requirements in a future Kindle model.


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