Feeds

Google to be bookseller by summer

Squeezing into bed with Apple and Amazon

Top three mobile application threats

Google has confirmed it will enter the retail digital book business, with the launch of an online store called Google Editions by July. Google Editions will also be available as a B2B service, allowing third-party retailers to sell eBooks on their own websites.

There's no word yet of any deals, and a company spokesman didn't elaborate on the question of pricing. Currently the major publishers insist on maintaining their current flexibility with pricing via what's called an agency model, which they hope will preserve their high margins. Apple endorses such an approach to market, even though it leaves "retailers" such as itself scrapping over a smaller pool of potential profits. It's also supported by literary agents who have long-running and lucrative franchises.

Amazon looks at it a different way - it wants to be able to set pricing, and it wants the high margins for itself. Amazon's original slice of the wholesale eBook price was an eye-watering 70 per cent, but after Apple's entry (with a publisher-friendly setup) it's since been forced to cut it back to 30 per cent.

By picking a fight with the book business, Amazon has been taught a lesson in where the power really lies. Publisher Macmillian withdrew rights to its vast catalog in the New Year, and Penguin stopped providing digital eBooks to Amazon a month ago. Apple is happy to work with publishers rather than dictate terms, because it sees it as a two-sided market - Apple makes its revenue from hardware, and content is merely a something that makes the hardware more attractive. Amazon wants both the profits of a traditional distributor and retailer and hardware profits. Something has to give.

You may by now be scratching your head and wondering where Google will make any money, since it doesn't make any money (even indirectly) from Android, and it's not an advertising play.

You're not alone. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.