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Would You Like Some Books with that Broadband Deal?

Books4After years of fighting the pirates it appears the music industry has decided to emulate them for a change.  This article in The New York Times talks about how you'll be able to participate in an all-you-can-eat music model with certain cell phone and broadband deals.

Can similar book content deals be far behind?  Wouldn't it be great to get access to a Safari or Books24x7 program with a new phone or DSL/cable deal, even if it's just for a limited time?  Sure, it would be a series of tiny revenue streams and although the content providers probably wouldn't "make it up in volume" the service would be discovered by countless new prospective customers, many of which are likely to sign up for a regular subscription after the introductory period expires.


Book Calendar

Well, there is a company called Bookswim set up along the same lines as Netflix which sends out books then has you mail them back. It is a bit different broadband, but it is interesting.


One key to making this work is figuring out how many people would sign up for subscriptions. Otherwise, you're advertising a product people are not willing to buy. In a recession people consider subscriptions, whether to magazines or enhanced, but unnecessary or unused features and services, a luxury. Using cable companies offers of free Showtime or HBO for a short time as an example, people tend to buy it once, but not renew.

Another key is what sort of content is offered. People stop buying Showtime or HBO once they discover the movies are not ones they want to see or the shows they watch go away. The content has to be perpetually appealing. Content that's limited in ways that frustrate customers, like abstracts only or one time viewing, will alienate them from the entire model.

People have become accustomed to the false idea that information, that content should be free because it costs nothing to acquire or publish. To make this model, indeed any pay for access model to work that basic misunderstanding has to be undone.

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