Monday, October 10, 2011

Kindle Believes Content Is King, B&N Retaliates Like A Spoiled Child

Amazon is taking the digital book wars to an exciting level. First it was price discounts on earlier models and now it is content exclusivity. Their latest exclusive content deal is with DC Entertainment, owner of graphic novels, a perfect complement to the e-reader. And a move that has riled its leading competitor Barnes and Noble.

But I am sad to hear that B&N has responded in a very childish way. "Comic book industry blog Bleeding Cool reports today that Barnes & Noble e-mailed all of its employees yesterday and told them to remove all print copies of the books included in that exclusive from their shelves." The only people that get hurt from this move are B&N customers who are in the store looking for these print issues and B&N reputation and bottom line. How does removing these issues help you compete with the Nook? Frankly, it doesn't. It sounds like a pouty child taking back his or her toys.

I am a huge fan of B&N and I understand their displeasure. But if they believe that content is king, like I do, then they should work harder to build their own exclusivity partnerships. DC Entertainment is not the only game in town. But B&N needs to work smarter to attract other partnerships and exclusivity deals. For every DC, there are Lucas, The Simpsons, and other graphic deals to make. And Archie is just announcing its own line of superhero comics. And think beyond the box to video and audio opportunities as well. To pull print copies off the shelf does not grow your digital business. The game is young and far from over.

Apple Still Shines

Steve Jobs legacy will be felt for some time and Apple will continue to dazzle. Despite a mediocre response to the latest iPhone news, advance orders for the next generation of iPhone are doing quite well. "Apple Inc. said on Monday that pre-orders for its new iPhone 4S set a record last week with more than 1 million units snatched up online in the first 24 hours. The results top the previous one-day pre-order record of 600,000, set by the new unit's predecessor, the iPhone 4." That the iPhone is now available to Sprint customers is one reason, and there are many users that simply want the next generation of iPhone no matter what. The latest software update with Siri voice command may be the next winning idea for Apple.

And as Apple attracts more customers to its devices, it also attracts more users to its App store. It is a healthy business model that will enable Apple to continue to grow.