Finance

The Revolution Starts Now… Or Does It: Digital vs. Print "either/or" or "both/all"?
February 11, 2013

Steve Earle wrote: “The revolution starts now / when you rise above your fear / And tear the walls around you down / The revolution starts here.”

Thankfully, time has finally brought us companies (big and small) that are re-thinking traditional content distribution business models. They’ve done this based on shifting technologies, shifting culture, sinking economies, new demands, and have begun creating new approaches. There are many out there, I wanted to mention a few examples.

Amazon Wants to Get Into the Used E-Book Business—Or Bury It
February 8, 2013

There is no such thing as a dog-eared e-book — each copy is forever perfect. But a new Amazon patent could go a long way toward making the digital media in our lives a lot more like the physical version.

Last week, Amazon patented a way to sell “used” e-books, music, videos, apps and other “digital objects.” The marketplace described in the patent would let such exchanges take place by cutting off the seller’s access to a piece of digital content once the buyer paid.

Macmillan settles with DOJ, and Apple is last man standing in ebook pricing case
February 8, 2013

Macmillan, the last remaining publisher holdout in the Department of Justice’s ebook pricing antitrust lawsuit against five publishers and Apple, has decided to settle about ten months after the lawsuit was originally filed. Following Penguin’s settlement in December, Macmillan CEO John Sargent had said  Macmillan wouldn’t follow suit, but he acknowledged Friday in a letter to authors and agents that “the potential penalties became too high to risk even the possibility of an unfavorable outcome.” The settlement means that Apple is the only remaining party fighting the DOJ lawsuit.

Amazon to give away tens of millions of dollars in virtual currency
February 6, 2013

Amazon has announced Amazon Coins, a virtual currency for use with its tablet, the Kindle Fire.

Scheduled to launch in May for US customers, the currency is being billed with an exchange rate of one Amazon Coin to one cent, although Paul Ryder, Vice President of Apps and Games for Amazon is also promising that the company will give customers tens of millions of dollars' worth of free Amazon Coins to promote the service.

Standard & Poor's, a Subsidiary of McGraw Hill, Says DOJ Civil Lawsuit Is Unjustified And Without Legal Merit
February 5, 2013

Standard & Poor's Rating Services (S&P), a subsidiary of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE: MHP), issued the following statement in response to the civil lawsuit filed last night by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and related state lawsuits regarding S&P ratings in 2007 on certain U.S. collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and S&P's rating models for residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS):

"The DOJ and some states have filed meritless civil lawsuits against S&P challenging some of our 2007 CDO ratings and the underlying RMBS models. Claims that we deliberately kept ratings high when we knew they should be lower are simply not true. We will vigorously defend S&P against these unwarranted claims. S&P has always been committed to serving the interests of investors and all market participants by providing independent opinions on creditworthiness based on available information. At all times, our ratings reflected our current best judgments about RMBS and the CDOs in question. Unfortunately, S&P, like everyone else, did not predict the speed and severity of the coming crisis and how credit quality would ultimately be affected.

Why One Insanely Successful Author Ditched Traditional Publishers And Went With Amazon Instead
January 29, 2013

Tim Ferriss is an entrepreneur, lifestyle hacker, and author who writes about how to optimize aspects of your life.

His newest book is 4-Hour Chef, and while there are plenty of recipes in it, it's actually about about how to maximize your learning ability. Ferriss teaches the reader the techniques he used to go from being indifferent towards cooking to becoming a kitchen warrior.

Ferriss' previous books, 4-Hour Workweek and 4-Hour Body, were released through conventional publishers, but he's one of a growing number of A-list authors opting to go with Amazon's publishing model instead.

Barnes & Noble To Shutter One-Third Of Retail Stores Over The Next 10 Years
January 28, 2013

Barnes & Noble has put up an excellent fight over the past few years against the rising tide of digital competitors like iPad, Kindle Fire, etc.

But it would seem that the bookseller has still come up a bit short, as the Wall Street Journal reports that the company has plans to shut down nearly 20 stores per year over the course of the next decade.

Wharton: Barnes & Noble, the Last Big Bookseller Standing: But for How Long?
January 16, 2013

Barnes & Noble had a rough holiday season: Same-store sales fell compared to a year ago and revenue from sales of the Nook tablet stalled. Despite a heavy investment in the Nook business, Barnes & Noble is expected to have a three-year cumulative loss of more than $700 million, according to Barclays Capital -- an indication that the bookstore's multi-front war with online retailer Amazon.com doesn't seem to be working.

Are the Days of the $14.99 Ebook Numbered?
January 14, 2013

Readers upset at paying more than $10 for an ebook could soon rejoice: The days of the $14.99 ebook may be numbered.

When the Department of Justice announced that several publishers had settled a lawsuit that alleged ebook price-fixing, which would eventually give ebook retailers pricing control that they didn’t have before, an Amazon spokesperson said, “This is a big win for Kindle owners, and we look forward to being allowed to lower prices on more Kindle books.”

Macmillan Says Renegotiated E-Book Deals Allows Some Discounting
December 19, 2012

Macmillan, the last of the major publishers still fighting the U.S. Justice Department over antitrust charges, says it has renegotiated its e-book deals with retailers to allow some discounting.

In an open letter posted on his book-publishing company's website Wednesday afternoon, MacmillanChief Executive John Sargent said the firm is still committed to fighting the antitrust case brought by the Justice Department involving allegations that Macmillan and four other publishers plus Apple Inc. (AAPL) conspired to raise e-book prices.