Originally Posted by genovelle
Originally Posted by trumptman
Someone here gets it. Hachette could even sell their books through their own website and you could email the purchases to your Kindle. They could choose to sell their books in an open and unencrypted format and then you could use them everywhere.
It's interesting that you say thry could sell on their own sites. This is one of the reasons they wanted the agency model. Publishers couldn't sell from their sites when Amazon who had 90% of the market is selling your product below your cost. A thriving book market depends on wide availability. When one company drives other companies out or prevents entry, that is bad for consumers. I don't like giving my credit card info to multiple companies, so limiting my choice to Amazon means I won't be buying your product, but I'd gladly pay more to a company I trust.
This is what a person calls made up nonsense. There is nothing in an agency agreement or wholesale agreement that declares the party must sell to Amazon or that they have to be forced into a loss on their on product by Amazon. If they don't like the price Amazon sells the product at, they simply don't sell them the product for resale.
Amazon has an estimated 50% of the total book market and about 65% of the epub market.
You mention wide availability. How does a website that emails books to your device not signal wide availability? It isn't hard to replicate what Amazon does and given the fact that a publisher could have a specific focus, certainly someone could do it better than Amazon. Certainly a publisher could do it best of all.
There's nothing hard to understand. Amazon doesn't have some storefront you go to. You go to their website. Order a epub or hardcover book and it is either shipped to your door via the mail or sent via the internet. There is nothing about that model that a publisher couldn't duplicate and do so keeping more of the money from the transaction. They could even do it side by side with Amazon or partner with Amazon for a mini-store run by Amazon.
Originally Posted by jungmark
Originally Posted by trumptman
1. There is no barrier to entry in the epub market. Anyone can and has set up a website. If publishers feel Amazon has predatory pricing. They could withdraw their books, put them on their own website and email to them Kindles. They can create their own apps and make them available on Android, iOS and Kindle. You site the multitude of apps available on iOS and declare that there is a barrier to entry that no one can climb. You just shot down point number one with your own point number 3.
2. Amazon doesn't set prices. The DOJ didn't act because Amazon was a monopoly and could charge predatory prices. They acted because Apple has a near media monopoly on movies and music and was leveraging it into epub. You've got your reasoning backwards and the court found against Apple.
3. See point 1. You just knocked down your own argument.
4. The publishers in question are major publishers. Amazon is negotiating with them and that is permissable by law. Apple has had to do the same thing in negotiations with various media companies. The reality is that Amazon has helped start and move along a self-publishing revolution. They created the Kindle years before Apple even created the iPhone. However technology is a moving field. Publishers could innovatively decide to create new apps and platforms for various epub devices. They really could hurt Amazon quite easily by forgetting the DRM angle and growing the market larger than Amazon or anyone else could attempt to manage or control.
However they aren't chosing this route. The market had to be forced into it with music and now you can buy almost all music in an array of places with no DRM. The same needs to happen with books. If Amazon stands in the way then the publishers should take the initiative on their own for using DRM-free, open standards that allow easy purchase and delivery of books. However Apple isn't a better solution because they offer an inferior and more expensive DRM-laden clone and wanted to foist it on all of us.
1. Barrier to entry is Amazon's predatory pricing. Sure the pubs can go somewhere else but Amazon is the dominant player. What don't you get about that.
2. What?!! Amazon sets the pricing. You can't be that foolish to think pubs are willing to lower the price of ebooks below cost. How can Apple leverage anything when they weren't in the market? You think Apple had a near monopoly in music and movies yet think Amazon is just a majority player in ebooks prior to the iPad? wtf are you smoking.
Great for Amazon in self publishing. Btw, you know goody Amazon takes 70% of the price for ebooks < $3 or so. Nope, they aren't greedy at all.
3. I was refuting your point.
4. That's not negotiating. It's holding them hostage and abusing their "control" on the ebook marketplace.
1. Being the majority player doesn't mean they have to let Amazon set their price. You seem to misunderstand the agreements that Apple was judged on and the ones Amazon had in place. The most favored clause basically guaranteed Apple their 30%. It didn't mean any publisher had to take a loss on their product. It didn't even mean Amazon had to take a loss on it. It forced a 30% margin on everyone or else it forced the publishers to lose money.
Understand this example. Amazon buys a book at wholesale price for $5.00. They decide to sell it for $6.00. The mark up is 20%. Apple had the right to purchase the same book at the same price but wanted their mandated 30%. That means if Amazon found a way to sell it for $6.00 Apple could drop their price and still keep their 30% taking the lowered price out of the publisher cut. To prevent this the publishers in collusion with Apple declared they wouldn't sell to Amazon at all unless Amazon sold at the price they wanted.
The publishers are still free not to sell to Amazon at all. They just aren't allowed to collude about it.
2. Your number 2 doesn't even make sense. If selling with Amazon doesn't make a company a profit. Then why do it? The reasoning here is that Amazon is bankrupting publishers and they don't leave Amazon and strike out on their own, negotiate better terms or go exclusive with another epub market because...they'll go bankrupt or have a severe dip in the sales that are supposedly already bankrupting them.
It can't be both ways. The reality is that they are making money but times are changing and the agreements that worked for physical books that had lots of margin and plenty of boondoggles for publishers don't work in the modern age. It is no different than the recording industry. You had artists wondering why they were still getting charged for breakage of a percentage of vinyl records and for warehousing them when their sales were digital. The agreements had to be updated and those dollars, that were largely just easy cash for the record companies, and now book publishers had to disappear.
The publishers didn't collude with Apple because Amazon was bankrupting them with epub prices. It was because the epub prices were harming the price of hardcover books and publishers wanted to protect that market. Go read the case.
3. You refuted your own point. Amazon can't own the market and keep everyone out yet there is a thriving epub market with multiple, easily found and downloaded providers on the iPad. The two statements are incompatible.
4. Using hyperbole and self-reinforcing reasoning doesn't make it so.
Originally Posted by nagromme
A year ago I saw a very good analysis of Amazon's business and the question of how they might "turn on the profit switch" one day after so many years of essentually "dumping" products to take over markets. Wish I could find the link.
But the upshot was:
- Certain (main non-book) items are unprofitable, but their sales as a whole are VERY profitable.
- BUT Amazon reinvests an unusual amount of their profit--essentially all of it--to expand their operations and enter NEW kinds of market. They are going for maximum expansion rather than short-term income.
- So to turn on the "profit switch" all they need to do is slow the train down to a more normal speed: keep expanding, keep starting new ventures... but not so fast! Just keep some of the money.
- Therefore, they don't actually have to raise prices OR strongarm suppliers to become very profitable. They may choose to do both of those, but it's not actually a requirement.
Anyone who remembers better, please revise and expand
The same claims have been made over and over about Walmart. That eventually we'd all have no choice and Walmart would strong arm both suppliers and customers. It has never happened. The same claim was also made about McDonald's.
The answer is out there when looking at these providers. When something gets too big it gets generic. Curated and specialized shops instantly do better against such large providers and take disproportionate dollars away from them. When someone offers a million different horror books no one has the time to browse such selections. So someone sets up a store that sells only vampire and zombie comics and makes a killing. It's called become the Panera bread of books, movies, or clothes.