Sony expects ebook sales to overtake sales of print books within five years, as we reported yesterday. Steve Haber, president of Sony's digital reading business division, told me: "Within five years there will be more digital content sold than physical content. Three years ago, I said within ten years but I realised that was wrong - it's within five."
Sony has announced that it will convert its eBook store to the industry-standard .epub format by the end of the year. "Adopting an industry-standard format and Adobe Content Server 4, a popular, cross-platform server software solution that copy-protects downloadable e-books, allows Sony to make its eBook store compatible with multiple devices and its Reader devices open to multiple sources for content," a company press release stated.
As Steve Potash, CEO of Overdrive and president of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), said last spring at IDPF’s annual meeting: The world of digital books is expanding, and there is a steady flow of major publishers and technology providers adopting the .epub standard. What we’re going through now is a ramping-up stage during which it can’t be either/or—nobody is saying that we will accept or deliver only in .epub. Accepting only .epub formats is likely to be the first move that’s made, because the advantage to publishers is that they will have only one electronic book version with one ISBN of which