let's make a deal
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 10, 2013 12:45 PM
Shares of Barnes & Noble soared 24 percent after it was reported Thursday that Microsoft is considering a bid for the retailer’s Nook e-book business.
Microsoft is reportedly offering $1 billion for the Nook brand and the digital assets of Nook Media on top of their $300 million investment last year to develop Nook content for Windows 8 tablets. "Our complementary assets will accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices, enabling people to not just read stories, but to be part of them,” said Microsoft president Andy Lees at the time. "We're on the cusp of a revolution in reading."
But the revolution stalled as the Android-based Nook has been a money-loser for B&N, not helping America's biggest bookseller compete against Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 21, 2013 02:50 PM
It has been nearly 16 years since the episode of “Ellen” that found its main character, as played by Ellen DeGeneres, come out of the closet and tell the world that she was gay, followed up by the historic "Yep, I'm Gay" cover of TIME.
That, of course, was a watershed moment and plenty has happened since. States have legalized gay marriage. Gay characters that don’t fall into ancient stereotypes actually populate mainstream films and television shows. Those in the 18- to 44-year-old demographic are mostly all for gay marriage, leading many to assert that, with time, it will be fully integrated into American culture.
That same demographic is the target of most marketers, which has led to a rapid growth in gay-themed ads. Anti-gay sentiment clearly isn’t dead, though, and marketers take the risk of getting one faction of its fans upset when it goes that route, a fact Kraft’s Oreo brand found out last summer when it put a rainbow-themed Oreo on its Facebook page and then discovered a massive fight occurring in its comments section.
Amazon has now stepped in to show that it’s happy to have its products, specifically Kindles, used by gays or straights. In a new ad campaign that broke this week, a shirtless man and bikini-wearing woman sit next to each other at a resort looking at their e-readers. While he squints at what looks like an iPad in the sunlight, she can see her Kindle Paperwhite just fine. He decides to purchase a Kindle from his device and after, suggests that they should celebrate. She says that her husband is bringing her a drink right now. His response? “So is mine.” Touché.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 29, 2012 11:39 AM
In a defensive and offensive move, two major European media companies, Bertelsmann and Pearson, are combining their book publishing divisions, Random House and Penguin, exponentially increasing their reach and scale in light of prodigious growth from e-books and digital retailers.
"Together, the two publishers will be able to share a large part of their costs, to invest more for their author and reader constituencies and to be more adventurous in trying new models in this exciting, fast-moving world of digital books and digital readers," stated Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino in a press release.
The merger seals Random House’s leadership as the largest English-language consumer book publisher worldwide, and parent Bertelsmann will have the majority share at 53%. And no, web wags, it won't be called Penguin House or Random Penguin.Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 10, 2012 06:18 PM
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is an excitable guy and if there is one thing that excites more than anything else (as far as we know), it is his employer. Ballmer threw his energy behind a letter to stockholders that was released on Monday, informing the investment community that Microsoft was in the midst of a changing world and now considers itself a devices and services company.
In other words, Microsoft is following in the footsteps of Apple. Don’t worry, Microsoft, as the master brand, will still be producing great software, but the company wants to push its device products, such as the soon-to-be-released Surface tablet. But, as Ballmer says in his letter, the company will be putting extra emphasis on "new form factors that have increasingly natural ways to use them including touch, gestures and speech."Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 26, 2012 03:13 PM
In a serious challenge to Amazon's latest Kindle moves and Apple iPad, Barnes & Noble has introduced the two newest tablets in the NOOK family of e-readers: NOOK HD ($199) and NOOK HD+ ($269). The New York Times sees B&N positioning the first HD Nook tablets as "iPad Lite," and call the retailer's new "video service for the Nook color devices similar to the iTunes store and includes movies and TV series from Disney, Viacom and Warner Brothers."
According to B&N's press materials, NOOK HD is "the lightest and highest resolution 7-inch HD tablet ever. NOOK HD+ is the lightest Full HD tablet with a brilliant 9-inch HD display that magazine and movie lovers will adore. Enjoy incredible reading and entertainment like never seen before – all starting at just $199."
They're available for pre-order at nook.com and in-store on Nov. 1st; AP took a look at how they stack up here.
brand vs. brand
Posted by Dale Buss on September 21, 2012 04:19 PM
Enough is enough, Walmart seems to be saying. That's why America's largest retailer no longer will sell Amazon's Kindle tablets after the store chain runs out of its current supply.
Enough of what? Although Walmart said little in its official statement about its decision, it's clear that more and more bricks-and-mortar retailers are resisting "showrooming," in which their physical, tangible displays on their expensive physical, tangible real estate turn into a mere testing ground for consumers who then turn on their heels, walk out of the stores without buying a tablet there, and order them online.
Most of Amazon's Kindles — which began as e-readers but now can stream a wide variety of digital content — are bought online from Amazon. Target said in May that it would stop selling Kindles.
Also, Walmart had had enough of Amazon's perceived tricks such as what the online retailer did last year during the annual holiday fistfight between the retailers (and eBay): promoting a smartphone app called Price Check that allowed users to compare Amazon's prices to those at stores by scanning bar codes.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 6, 2012 03:03 PM
As rumored, Amazon indeed revealed two new Kindle e-Reader models today: Kindle Fire HD and the Kindle Paperwhite — described as the most advanced e-reader ever."
"Paperwhite" refers to the ability to now read the screen as you would paper, as it's "constructed with 62% more pixels and 25% increased contrast, a patented built-in front light for reading in all lighting conditions, up to 8 weeks of battery life, and a thin and light design for just $119; Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G — never pay for or hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot with the all-new top-of-the-line Kindle e-reader with free 3G wireless for just $179." The size and price of the classic Kindle, meanwhile, shrinks to $69.
Kindle Fire HD (above) is the pricier e-Reader family, aimed at the "high end" consumer with price points to match:Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 6, 2012 10:06 AM
In case you were watching Bill Clinton's DNC love-in for Barack Obama Wednesday night, it may come as news that Amazon teased its new Kindle devices during the NFL season opener. Rumored to include the Kindle Paperwhite, the official press conference begins today at 10:30 a.m. PT in Barker Hangar and will be covered live. [Update: more details here.]
CNET reported last week the debut of two 7-inch Kindle Fires, “including a high-end model with a zippy processor, a camera, physical volume controls, an HDMI port, and larger storage than a second, more bare-bones version.”
Amazon’s uber-strategy is to sell the devices at a low enough price point to ensure deep market penetration, and then make money on higher-margin content, e.g., e-books, video, games, apps and music.
"The swing factor in the expectation on the upcoming Kindle Fire could be on how much lower pricing can go," said So Young Lee, analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. "Introducing a tablet below the $150 mark could be compelling and another game changer in the industry where the $199 price point is no longer unique."Continue reading...