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Mobile Reading Comes Of Age


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A keynote presentation given at an NFAIS workshop on mobile delivery of content

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Mobile Reading Comes Of Age

  1. 1. Mobile reading comes of age NFAIS Workshop on the Mobile Delivery of Content October 30, 2009
  2. 2. This morning’s presentation <ul><li>A mobile context </li></ul><ul><li>Current options for mobile reading </li></ul><ul><li>Expected developments </li></ul><ul><li>Implications for content creation and management </li></ul>
  3. 3. Core take-aways <ul><li>Mobile content demand is expanding rapidly </li></ul><ul><li>The market starts with e-readers but includes an array of multi-function mobile devices </li></ul><ul><li>Low-cost “netbooks” are becoming widely available </li></ul><ul><li>Content forms are likely to evolve significantly as use of these devices expands </li></ul>
  4. 4. Mobile reading advantages <ul><li>Portability </li></ul><ul><li>Searchability </li></ul><ul><li>Breadth of selection </li></ul><ul><li>Affordability (lower selling price for content) </li></ul><ul><li>Increasingly offering the benefits of the web </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open, social, linked </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. A mobile profile
  6. 6. Yes, we have cell phones Held together by an allegiance to a common cell-phone plan …
  7. 7. We also have a Kindle … Strength in What Remains , by Tracy Kidder Nifty Kindle cover, only $49 at M-Edge Download 25 titles a month at an average price of $5.20
  8. 8. … and iPod Touches Clean, shiny, new = mine Used and wired = not mine
  9. 9. With wireless access and commerce Stanza B&N Kindle Shortcovers Classics BookShelf BookZ Libris … as well as standalone book apps
  10. 10. All part of an evolving value chain This list covers only (most of) the existing players … Source: Forrester Research; Magellan research
  11. 11. The future will be even more robust Source: Forrester Research; Magellan research
  12. 12. Keys to mobile reading success <ul><li>Wireless coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Seamless transactions </li></ul><ul><li>Extensive content libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Device reliability </li></ul><ul><li>Content interoperability </li></ul>Adapted from work by Andrew Brenneman, Book Business
  13. 13. Mobile reading segments: a range <ul><li>Various platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Game consoles (Wii, X-BOX) </li></ul><ul><li>Sony Reader </li></ul><ul><li>Amazon Kindle </li></ul><ul><li>BN Nook </li></ul><ul><li>iRex </li></ul><ul><li>BeBook </li></ul><ul><li>Bookeen </li></ul><ul><li>Plastic Logic </li></ul><ul><li>… and more </li></ul><ul><li>Treo (Palm) </li></ul><ul><li>Blackberry (RIM) </li></ul><ul><li>iPhone (Apple) </li></ul><ul><li>Android (Google) </li></ul><ul><li>Ovi (Nokia) </li></ul><ul><li>Asus </li></ul><ul><li>Acer </li></ul><ul><li>Dell </li></ul><ul><li>Courier </li></ul><ul><li>Apple Tablet (?) </li></ul>
  14. 14. How book content is read The breadth of content consumption (still) relying on PDF file formats suggests that readers are willing to forego a lot of bells and whistles just to get content digitally. Source: Bob LiVolsi, Books on Board, BEA 2009 Format All digital reading Excluding PDF PDF 60% -- E-book compatible 17% 42% iPhone OS 8% 20% Palm OS 4% 10% All others 11% 28%
  15. 15. Ebook sales have exploded Source: AAP
  16. 16. Book networks are also booming <ul><li>Open, social, linked </li></ul><ul><li>Visual Bookshelf: 6 million users, 108 million books </li></ul><ul><li>WeRead (Facebook): nearly 2 million readers, over 45 million books </li></ul><ul><li>LibraryThing 750K visits a month; Goodreads 500K </li></ul><ul><li>BN, Amazon, Scribd and Wattpad all play a role here </li></ul>Adapted from Brad Inman, Vook; Magellan research
  17. 17. Sizing the e-reader opportunity $199 price point $99 price point More wireless devices Color displays available Content, brands grow Early adopters drive a small market More mainstream, frequent book buyers adopt eReaders Students and business consumers Source: Forrester Research
  18. 18. A range of e-reader participants Source: Book Business ; Magellan research Status Competitors Leaders Sony Reader – Pocket, Touch, Daily Edition (3G, touch screen) Amazon Kindle – seamless order and delivery; proprietary format Existing or announced Astak Mentor Barnes & Noble Nook COOL-ER Reader Cybook Opus (Bookeen), Gen 3 Ditto Book eSlick Extaco jetBook Hanlin eReader (BeBook) Hanron iRex (touchscreen, international, through Best Buy) Plastic Logic eReader Polymer Vision’s Readius Txtr
  19. 19. And growth of e-book stores <ul><li>Amazon: 300K to 400K titles </li></ul><ul><li>Barnes & Noble: 700K (600K?) to start; over a million in a year </li></ul><ul><li>Google: estimated 1,000K public domain titles </li></ul><ul><li>Apple: as many as 10,000 book apps? </li></ul><ul><li>Scribd: 10 million documents published </li></ul>Source: Book Business ; Folio: ; Magellan research
  20. 20. A significant challenge: formats Today: Device + Format + Discovery + Acquisition + Installation + DRM = “Confusion” Adapted from work by Neelan Choksi, Lexcycle; “Confusion” courtesy Peter Brantley, Internet Archive Segment Options File types RTF and PDF BBeB .lit, mobi and AZW PDB and FB2 HTML, RB, CHM and OEB .. And EPUB Digital rights management Microsoft Reader Adobe Adept eReader Mobi Apple FairPlay DNL … and others
  21. 21. Some format/DRM examples Source: FAQ Explanation “ What formats are available for Secure Mobipocket Format eBooks and what devices can I read them on?” “ EBooks marked [Secure Mobipocket] are available as encrypted Mobipocket files. Mobipocket is a free reader application that is currently available on these platforms: Personal Computers Palm and Palm compatible; PocketPC; Franklin eBookMan; Symbian OS, including the Psion5, Psion5mx, Psion Revo, Psion Revo+, and Diamond MAKO organizers, and the Nokia 9210 (European model), 9290 (American model), Ericsson R380, R380e and R380 Smartphones.” “ How do I set my Secure Mobipocket Personal ID so I can read Secure Mobipocket Format eBooks?” “ Before downloading a Secure Mobipocket Format eBook file, you must set your Secure Mobipocket Personal ID (PID) in your Bookshelf. This is a code number that you can find by using the &quot;About&quot; menu item in the Mobipocket application on your device. (It) is used to encrypt the file so it is only usable on your PDA. (A future version of Mobipocket will allow you to read your eBooks on more than one device that you own.)”
  22. 22. Growing e-reader awareness Source: Forrester Research
  23. 23. A “reverse” generation gap? <ul><li>Average age of today’s p-book buyer is 44; most frequent book buyer is 50 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Seniors are leading the way in the digital market” </li></ul><ul><li>Over 65 = largest cohort of Kindle users </li></ul><ul><li>First group to move beyond the desktop for digital content </li></ul>Source: Bowker presentation at BISG’s “Making Information Pay” conference, 2009
  24. 24. A growing mobile market “ Reach” “ Exchange” “ Engagement” Source: Magellan research
  25. 25. Projected smart-phone growth Source: Yankee Group Research; Magellan research
  26. 26. Rich-media: powered by apps <ul><li>A mix of carrier and device stores* </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple rich-media readers (e.g., Stanza, Kindle) </li></ul><ul><li>A growing number of books </li></ul>*Apple, Nokia, Palm, RIM, Microsoft and Google are the primary players.
  27. 27. A range of operating platforms <ul><li>Apple iPhone OS </li></ul><ul><li>Android </li></ul><ul><li>Symbian OS </li></ul><ul><li>Windows Mobile </li></ul><ul><li>Blackberry </li></ul>Application design depends on what platforms matter to your audience. Sometimes a mobile web solution would suffice.
  28. 28. Top uses of iPhone apps Although “books” doesn’t make the top ten, there is a reason. Source: Alisa Bowen, Thomson-Reuters Top 5 Next 5 Weather News Entertainment Directions (maps) Sports Traffic updates Shopping Work and related information (growing) Stock quotes “ Other”
  29. 29. Book apps: popular, not persistent Used frequently, not kept Used frequently, kept around Used infrequently, kept around Source: Kara Swisher, All Things Digital; Magellan research
  30. 30. Behind the persistence “issue” <ul><li>Each book its own app </li></ul><ul><li>Downloads are read using Stanza, Kindle etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Readers stay, books go </li></ul><ul><li>“ Disposable” books may pressure publishers to open formats or lower prices </li></ul>Source: Kara Swisher, All Things Digital; Magellan research
  31. 31. Mobile web access: 22% netbooks Source: Magellan research Considerations Examples Announced players Asus Eee PC ($300, Linux, now Android) Acer ($100 with a 2-year AT&T contract) Dell Courier (Microsoft tablet) “ Mythical Apple Tablet” (M.A.T.) Netbook implications Useful while most documents still PDFs A full-service multifunction device A window to the web
  32. 32. Full web access = digital editions? <ul><li>Exact Editions </li></ul><ul><li>Texterity </li></ul><ul><li>Nxtbook </li></ul><ul><li>Zinio </li></ul><ul><li>Imirus </li></ul><ul><li>… among others </li></ul>
  33. 33. Digital editions: an interim fit? Source: Texterity Inc, “2008 profile of the digital magazine reader”
  34. 34. New formats, new rules <ul><li>Portrait vs. landscape </li></ul><ul><li>San serif fonts, larger than normal </li></ul><ul><li>Increased leading (4-5 points more than font) </li></ul><ul><li>Linked (when the device supports it) </li></ul><ul><li>Serving images as slideshows in a single window </li></ul>Source: Book Business
  35. 35. Mobile growth creates possibilities Last week’s announcements by the Internet Archive open up a range of possibilities for lending digital content. Trends Examples Current Bundling content by genre Reading as part of a consumptive culture Evolving Selling content in chunks Licensing vs. owning Role of libraries Impact on (and from) library lending
  36. 36. Content as a consumptive tool <ul><li>On demand </li></ul><ul><li>Personal </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging </li></ul><ul><li>Networked </li></ul><ul><li>“ OPEN” </li></ul>Source: Carolyn Pittis, HarperCollins; Troy Gibson
  37. 37. A cross-section of mobile models Typically supported using web-based wireless applications Opportunity to develop and implement device-based apps Source: Alisa Bowen, Thomson-Reuters
  38. 38. Other trends to watch Category Trends Participants Digital-only (ebook and POD) imprints Whatever the Internet Archive has up its sleeve Google Books Integrated selling with bricks-and-mortar outlets Applying semantic tools (e.g. Peer 39) to book content Market developments Publishers developing their own readers Dynamic pricing App store backlash (censorship?) Concerns about uptime (service reliability)
  39. 39. Core take-aways <ul><li>Mobile content demand is expanding rapidly </li></ul><ul><li>The market starts with e-readers but includes an array of multi-function mobile devices </li></ul><ul><li>Low-cost “netbooks” are becoming widely available </li></ul><ul><li>Content forms are likely to evolve significantly as use of these devices expands </li></ul>
  40. 40. “ Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive. Information wants to be free because it has become so cheap to distribute, copy and recombine – too cheap to meter. It wants to be expensive because it can be immeasurably valuable to the recipient. That tension will not go away. It leads to endless, wrenching debate about price, copyright, intellectual property, the moral rightness of casual distribution, because each round of new devices makes the tension worse, not better .” -- Stewart Brand (1984)
  41. 41. “ 98 percent of all the people who will eventually read e-books are not reading on them today …” -- Bob LiVolsi,
  42. 42. For more information <ul><li>A mobile biography, </li></ul><ul><li>“ Future of Books”, CQ Researcher, 5/29/2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Book Industry Study Group ( , “Consumer Attitudes Toward Digital Publishing” (Jan 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>