A few weeks ago, I mentioned how, between all of the excellent podcasts, music, movies, TV shows, and books that the thing most creators are fighting for more than ever before is people’s attention. No longer are we limited by the songs in our library. Apple Music or Spotify gives us access to almost every song available. 99.99% of podcasts are free, so there is always something new to binge. Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Hulu, Apple TV+, and countless others provide us with more TV shows and movies than we could ever hope to watch. The industry, in my opinion, with the most opportunity going forward, is the digital book market.
I hope reading makes a dramatic comeback in the face of countless entertainment options. While shows like SEE cost millions to produce. An author can create a world of SEE with the click of a keyboard and an imagination. Right now, the book market is Amazon and then everyone else. I think that in the long term, the ebook market needs to look to more cooperation to bring attention to all of the great books that are coming out. It’s time for Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others to come together and create a Books Anywhere service.
I love my Kindle Oasis. Out of all of the technology in my home, it’s the device I’d give up last. As much as I love the device, I hate knowing that for every book I buy, it’s another book I’d have to buy again if I ever want to buy a Nook or just use an iPad mini with Apple Books as my primary book reader. All ebooks from Apple Books, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble all have DRM built-in. Once you buy an ebook from Amazon or Apple, you don’t own the book. You own a license to access it on that platform.
On the movies side of the business, there has been some movement to open up purchases. While the content still has DRM, multiple vendors have worked together to allow a service called Movies Anywhere. If you purchase a movie from Amazon Prime Video, you can stream it on iTunes/Apple TV as you bought it from them. If you find a deal on a film from Vudo (owned by Walmart), you can buy it, and then stream it on Google Play Movies.
A feature like this for books would be amazing. If Amazon puts a book on sale for Kindle, I could buy it and then know I could access it in the future on Apple Books. Digital books have been around for over a decade, so people are starting to build large libraries of purchases that are going to be locked to a particular platform forever.
Wrap-up on Books Anywhere
If consumers knew that their purchased books would be accessible from any modern ebook platform, they’d likely feel more confident in their purchase. Consumers shouldn’t be locked into a single book platform forever. They should be able to access their purchases from any device and any ebook platform they choose. It’s time for Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others to form a Books Anywhere platform to give consumers options in the future.
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