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What digital lessons can the ebook industry learn from the music industry?

June 2006

A few major issues:

From looking at the digital music download industry as a whole, you might conclude that the five major record companies aren't very keen on it succeeding. Certainly they work at maintaining high prices. It seems they'd prefer to stick with CDs and keep digital downloads as a minority sideshow. And in general music customers are going along with this.

At present, it looks like the book publishing industry will follow the pattern set by the music industry. Ebook prices are high and the big publishing companies don't seem to be especially keen on the digital route. Restrictive DRM and incompatibilities between systems are killing customer demand for eBooks. The eBooks market is panning out as something separate to the regular books market and low-level. Yet book publishers will inevitably suffer a loss of income due to digital piracy.

For book publishers, like music companies, it's a problem without a solution.

More TinHat articles on Ebooks and Epublishing