Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hopefully NOT True, B&N To Split Off Nook Business

Here's a story that makes me give pause and hope that it is not accurate. Per the MSNBC site, Barnes and Noble plans to split off its Nook digital business from its retail business. I am dumbfounded and find this strategy a sure sign of the collapse of the B&N book business. I can only point them at the fiasco generated when Netflix announced its plan to separate its streaming business from its DVD business. Was no business lesson learned.

The Nook is a wonderful product for the digital age and the B&N bookstores are, like the DVD, a declining business. But there is tremendous synergy and sticking together longer. Like Apple, the store provide both a distribution and service platform that set it apart from its other rival, Amazon. The stores offer tremendous opportunities to adapt its retail business by expanding its merchandising with other goods. And the stores enable more marketing opportunities to futher the Noook brand. A separation of the two businesses does neither side any goog.

So hopefully smarter heads prevail; otherwise, such a split will lead to the loss of a great bookstore chain and a collapse of the Nook business as well. And that would be a great shame.

Consumers Still Using Netflix

Despite some of the biggest missteps in management, Netflix continues to push forward. Whether it will recapture the consumers it hurt remains to be seen, but the ones that have stayed with Netflix continue to use the service. "Netflix would now be the 15th most-watched TV 'network' in the U.S. and could be the second most-watched in Netflix homes, BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield wrote in a blog post Wednesday." That equates to a ton of hours being watched on connected devices. And higher in viewing hours than a number of channels.

It seems that current Netflix users still love the service. Still Netflix has a ton of work to do to re-engage its lost subscriber and try to bring them back to the fold. Streaming is the future for media and Netflix is pushing forward with original content to fill the demand.

At the same time, cable operators are becoming more competitive in this space. Comcast just announced its new long term deal with ABC/Disney to assure that the content it produces is available to Comcast subscribers on all devices including TV, computer, tablet, and smartphone. The concept of TV Everywhere paints Comcast as an aggregator of content delivering authenticated content to its subscribers, linear and on demand, whenever and wherever they want it.

The Netflix numbers are a sure sign that they are still in it for the long run and intend to keep pushing their streaming strategy.