Posted by Peter Cenedella on November 11, 2010 10:00 AM
Remember that time, back in e-reader history, when Barnes & Noble upped the ante by going all polychromatic on everyone? And getting all jiggy with the kids’ books? Ahh, the golden age.
In the e-reader wars, every week seems to bring more big news – such is the biz cycle when the market for your product is just taking shape, the speed of innovation is high (“hey, what if this e-reader could also make toast?”) and the competition hot and heavy.
Apparently Jeff Bezos was paying attention when the Nook made its splash, because yesterday Amazon announced it is completely flipping the script on the revenue share deal with its partner publishers. Currently publishers are on the wrong end of a 70-30 split, but beginning December 1, Amazon is offering publishers 70 percent of the retail price on newspaper and magazine downloads purchased at the Kindle store – matching Apple’s current split.
The iPad, Kindle and Nook continue to jostle for pole position. Experts see the market diverging between higher-priced multi-function tablets and cheaper, dedicated e-readers. The recent additions to the Nook suggest that B&N is trying to split the difference – a strategy that risks leaving both ends of the market unsatisfied.
Meanwhile, reports are in this morning that Amazon continues to struggle to define its policy for the Kindle store regarding objectionable material. Boycotts have exploded in the wake of the company’s defense of a book on pedophilia. As of now, Amazon has pulled the book. In addition to the ethical and moral ramifications, a policy allowing pedophilia to fester on the virtual shelves could put a dent in Amazon’s business.