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The State of Digital Content in Spain

Like so many other European countries, Spain still hasn't seen the significant rise in ebook sales like we've experienced in the U.S. But due to the fact that the country has such a high percentage of mobile device owners and the bias towards print seems to be changing, it may not be long before ebooks represent a significant portion of overall sales. Dosdoce Digital Culture's Javier Celaya recently met with me (YouTube link here or watch below) to discuss the state of econtent and what's likely to impact the future. Some of Celaya's more noteworthy points include:

  • Ebooks currently represent about 3% of total sales -- This is rapidly changing though and some publishers are claiming as much as 5% of their sales come from ebooks. Javier sees this climbing all the way to 10% in 2012. [Discussed at 2:20]
  • Tablets vs. dedicated e-reading devices -- The percentage of heavy readers in Spain is rather low compared to other countries. As a result, single-purpose devices, particularly ones dedicated to reading, aren't likely to be successful. Multi-function tablets are already popular in Spain and likely to be the preferred e-reading platform. [Discussed at 7:30]
  • Amazon will have a major advantage, despite the fixed-price restrictions -- It all comes down to service, where Amazon has plenty of experience to leverage. [Discussed at 13:40]
  • iPad will remain strong but iBookstore, not so much -- Although Apple's devices will be popular for content consumption, most of that content will likely be bought from other retailers, not the iBookstore [Discussed at 16:40]
  • Support for DRM is shifting -- Even some larger publishers are starting to offer portions of their lists without DRM, mostly at the request of their authors. [Discussed at 20:30]
  • The advantages of direct sales go well beyond the obvious income boost -- It's also about the customer knowledge you'll gather, and more importantly, what you do with that knowledge. [Discussed at 22:20]

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