Wednesday News: Amazon speaks, smartphones boost digital reading in India, has Apple dropped Beats, and Rogen v. Hornaday
Amazon Responds to Discussion of Hachette Contract Dispute – Amazon has broken its silence on the Hachette negotiations, and, as Nate Hoffelder points out, it’s much more generous to Hachette than Hachette has been to Amazon. Also, how is it no one seems to have learned anything since the agency pricing debacle?
Negotiating with suppliers for equitable terms and making stocking and assortment decisions based on those terms is one of a bookseller’s, or any retailer’s, most important jobs. Suppliers get to decide the terms under which they are willing to sell to a retailer. It’s reciprocally the right of a retailer to determine whether the terms on offer are acceptable and to stock items accordingly. A retailer can feature a supplier’s items in its advertising and promotional circulars, “stack it high” in the front of the store, keep small quantities on hand in the back aisle, or not carry the item at all, and bookstores and other retailers do these every day. When we negotiate with suppliers, we are doing so on behalf of customers. Negotiating for acceptable terms is an essential business practice that is critical to keeping service and value high for customers in the medium and long term. –The Digital Reader
Smartphones drive ebook sales in India – Another article on the global interdependence of smartphone technology and digital reading. While developing markets still depend on smartphones for growth of digital book sales, the impact of ereading technologies on the digital book market is substantial – for markets in which Amazon is present, owning a Kindle means that someone will buy, on average, four times the number of books they otherwise would.
But the smartphone surge, and the availability of reading apps on them, are redrawing the book market. “Few in India would want to spend a minimum of Rs 7,000 on an e-reader and then pay money to buy e-books,” says Thomas Abraham, MD of Hachette India. “But now, with tablets and smartphones (that you bought anyway) having reading apps, we are seeing the beginnings of what might well be a big change. Last year we saw a quantum jump in sales,” he says.
Ditto for Flipkart, India’s biggest bookseller. Since their launch in November 2012 on the e-commerce site, e-books have seen an eight-fold growth. The growth got a huge boost last year in July when Flipkart launched multiple e-books reader apps with features that allowed access to any section of the book instantaneously, personalization, bookmarking of pages, highlighting text, taking notes, and reference to a dictionary while reading. They now even have a text-to-speech feature where the app reads out the book to you, useful when you are, say, driving, or for the visually challenged. –The Times of India
Did Dr. Dre kill the Apple-Beats deal with his drunken video selfie? – So Dr. Dre and Tyrese Gibson made a video in early May, announcing the sale of Beats headphones to Apple and the fact that the deal would make Dr. Dre “the first billionaire in rap.” That video, which was also apparently fueled by a fair number of Heineken beers, has in turn fueled speculation that Apple has pulled back from the deal, due to the likely unauthorized public representation of the deal. Hmmm.
Not only was it inconsistent with Apple’s famously secretive product launches and buttoned-up corporate image, but Dr. Dre was almost certainly subject to a non-disclosure agreement which he blasted to hell with video, disclosing the deal to the entire internet and dropping a few “motherfuckers” to boot. –Death and Taxes
Seth Rogen Is Not A Victim Of The Santa Barbara Killings – I’m not a big fan of the argument that books and movies influence people’s behavior in any substantial way, especially when that behavior is extreme and extremely anti-social. I think the relationship between culture/media and individuals is complex and multilayered, and that it’s not a simple matter of irrelevance v effect. Still, I think this article makes some really good points about how Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow (in whom I’m REALLY disappointed) missed a huge point, and a major opportunity to be part of a necessary social awakening about the diseased thinking that misogyny represents, instead of the self-centered defensiveness that is so very much a part of the problem.
To quote Hornaday: “For generations, mass entertainment has been overwhelmingly controlled by white men, whose escapist fantasies so often revolve around vigilantism and sexual wish-fulfillment (often, if not always, featuring a steady through-line of casual misogyny).”
This is the point at the heart of the op-ed that really matters. Neighbors is just referenced as the latest in a long, long line of movies in which men are granted what they desire, always and without question, even if what they desire is not a what, but a who. –Think Progress