the road ahead

Pay to Read?
January 10, 2010, 8:24 pm
Filed under: business

Looks like Internet users are getting more comfortable with paying for a portion of their content online as noted by a recent Nielson survey.

However, not all Internet content is equal in the eyes of the consumer. Music tops the list of pay to play along with movies, games, and TV shows. It is interesting to note that online magazines and newspapers did make the list. It appears that about 50% of users would get out their credit card to read some magazines or newspapers online.

But what about online content from book publishers? The survey did not give any results on this very important content.

What do you think readers would do?


1 Comment so far
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When television was newly released people wondered if audiences would buy into watching dramas on the small screen. The key to success was that TV producers could not just take stage plays and put them on the TV screen, they had to adapt their writing, producing, and screen presentation to make the most of the new medium.

I believe this is also key to people being willing to read a book on an electronic device. If publishers or those self-publishing content are going to make an e-delivered book product audiences are flocking to buy and use, those on the creative side of book publishing will need to learn how to make the most of the possibilities presented by the new technology. These new possibilities include digital layouts, hypertext linking, and the use of multimedia.

It will not be enough to simply take the book as we know it and put it on the screen, whether that’s a computer screen or a hand-held mobile device.

Of course we still need to have everything expected of an excellent book: great writing, clear understanding of our audience, and meeting a real need.

Perhaps books were overlooked in the poll because we as book-creators have yet to create something exciting enough in this category to put us on the map.

Comment by Connie Neal

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