Friday News: B&N tries to lower expectations; Penguin + Random House Mergers approved by DOJ
The latter has to be most disconcerting given that the technology side is supposed to save them. But B&N has lacked one of the biggest drivers of tablet sales. Content. Yes, there are books and some magazines, but tablet users want movies and music and B&N provides little access to either other than through streaming. Using a forked Android base and not allowing users access to Google Marketplace has been a huge mistake. Not implementing Windows 8 on its devices given the percentage stake now owned by Microsoft is another mistake.
B&N is providing no compelling reason to buy the Nook tablets over the Amazon Kindle Fire or the Google Nexus tablets even though the hardware specifications for the Nook might be better than both. Further, B&N seems wholly unprepared to provide the tech support necessary when selling tech devices.
If you recall, the number one customer support issue for All Romance is DRM, even though DRM books represent a tiny fraction of books sold at ARE. Since the launch of the Nooks, B&Ns customer service related to ebooks and ebook devices have frustrated and stymied users. Several people report to me that they do not buy ebooks at B&N despite loving their nooks. That’s a real problem for B&N. One of the many that they face to stay relevant in the book market. paidContent
Bertelsmann, the parent of RH, will own 53% of the company and Penguin will own 47% of the company. The original plans to merge came to light last winter and the companies indicated that the editorial staffs were not likely to be affected and the two houses would continue to operate as separate units for acquisitions but that there were in house efficiencies to be gained through merging, supposedly through warehousing, delivery, fulfillment and the like. The Digital Reader